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170 BRENDA SHENUTE NAMUGUMYA


the Uganda Health Partners’ review meetings and the political parties’ planning workshops prior to the countrywide election. Nevertheless, there is a lot of goodwill to reduce malnutrition in Uganda and


Sub-Saharan Africa. Governments and their development partners have designed numerous broad programs to assist Africa’s development, including improving the nutritional well-being of its citizens. However, there often is little direction for con- verting this goodwill into action. Thus a coordinated system for scaling up proven nutrition-improvement practices in and across each country is vital. A necessary component of such a system is careful engagement with and investment in advocacy at all levels to create demand for improved nutrition and build sustainable private and public partnerships for nutrition action. Malnutrition is a result of failures by many different sectors in a country;


combating it requires professionalism as well as a passion for attaining significant sustainable results. Change is needed in order for Uganda and other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to reduce child and maternal malnutrition to levels where stunted children are a rarity in African communities. Advocacy is an essential tool to foster sustainable partnerships across agencies and, ultimately, to improve the performance of the sectors concerned. The achievements realized in Uganda in recent years point to four key factors for successful nutrition advocacy.


1. Strategic networking is essential to create strong linkages and foster effective, coordinated action by the relevant agencies. Funding is required for materials and activities to sustain the network and make it effective.


2. Nutrition champions are needed at all levels and multiple sectors to promote nutrition agendas and actions. These champions should be located strategically, as indicated by an analysis of the current nutrition situation, its determinants, and its impact on health and development.


3. Stakeholder consensus is vital for successful advocacy. Ensuring that partners understand and agree with the nutrition improvement agenda is an essential first step in providing an environment conducive to resource mobilization and implementation.


4. All available nutrition advocacy opportunities must be seized. Malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa generally affects populations that do not vote, so the politi- cal process is unlikely to generate public investments to meet their nutritional needs. Advocates need to identify and utilize opportunities provided by national


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