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SUN Secretariat completes second phase of popularising the MSP                                    

Emmanuel Aiah Senessie

October 11, 2019

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Participants in Kono District pose for a group photograph at the end of the meeting

SUN Secretariat in the Office of the Vice President has completed the second phase of popularising the Multi-Sector Strategic Plan to Reduce Malnutrition in Sierra Leone in six districts.

The six districts are Koinadugu and Falaba (in one venue); Bombali and Karene(in one venue); Tonkolili and Kono in their districts.

Sixty participants were invited from Koinadu gu and Falaba and sixty from Bombali and Karene while in the single districts, forty three participants were invited.

Participants in all the venues included district council staff; women’s organisations; Famers associations; devolved sectors like education, agriculture;  Water resources; District Health Management Team;  Social Welfare; District Officer; the representative of the Paramount Chiefs  in the district;  and civil society representatives.

The programme involved the Purpose of the Popularisation, which was done by the SUN National Coordinator Madam Nenebah Jalloh, who said that the people in the districts should know about the MSP because this was where most of the nutrition vulnerable people live. Another important part of the programme was  an Overview of the MSP by the SUN Technical Officer Mrs. Bernadette Allieu, who stated that the MSP was a Strategy to reduce stunting and other symptoms of malnutrition by 2030. This was followed by Statements from  the host Paramount Chief; Mr Abu Daffae the Human Resource and Governance Officer in the Ministry of Local Government, Mr. Abu Daffae; the Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Vice President, Mrs. Victoria Sandy and the REACH Facilitator Dr. Sulaiman Sowe.

In all the venues, the District Medical Officer or their representative launched the Multi-Sector Strategic Plan to Reduce Malnutrition in Sierra Leone, after making significant statements about fighting malnutrition and the role of the MSP in this fight.

In Kono District Dr.  Gerald Young who launched the MSP said that malnutrition is a reality and is mostly among people who are very poor. He then gave the results of a survey done in Kono for stunting and overweight for 2010, 2014 and 2017, which showed that it was necessary to increase the fight against malnutrition in the district.

One highlight of the programme in all the districts was the discussions and reactions. Some of these were local to the district, such as the standoff between farmers and cattle rearers in Koinadugu and Falaba districts; and nurses not allowing civil society organisations to investigate the case of Plumpy Nuts in Koinadugu District. But there were cross- cutting issues in all the districts, such as involving the traditional rulers in the fight against malnutrition; how to make sure that people who cannot read and write get the information in the MSP and the adulteration of foodstuffs sold in the markets.

The MSP was launched in Freetown on 27th June this year after two validation workshops. At the launching ceremony it was decided by the Government and partners that the revised document should be popularized in the 15 districts so that the implementing partners will know and understand its contents in order to use it in their work from 2019 to 2025. Another reason for the popularization in the districts was to give the nutrition stakeholders the opportunity to take ownership of the document and disseminate the messages in it to all the chiefdoms and villages.

The popularization of the MSP has now taken place in ten districts. Five more districts are to be visited, including the Western Area Rural District Council with headquarters in Waterloo.

Emmanuel Aiah Seneesie is the Documentation and Communications officer, SUN Secretariat, in the Office of the Vice President

 

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