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International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, UNICEF India, FOGSI and 3 others partner for POSHAN Abhiyaan

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BENGALURU, India, Nov. 17, 2020.

In an effort to strengthen the implementation of the revolutionary POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission, Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), UNICEF India, Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India, Pregnancy and Obesity Nutrition Initiative (PONI), Alive & Thrive, Nutrition International and ARTIST For Her (Asian Research & Training Institute for Skill Transfer), a premier institute for learning are partnering to create a seamless cooperation.

All these organisations will meet every month for scientific deliberations on various issues addressed under POSHAN to enhance understanding of its members, partner agencies and professionals on new evidence and guidance on nutrition issues. The first deliberation focusing on Obesity in Pregnancy and Maternal Health in India concluded on November 10 anchored and led by Dr. Hema Divakar, who is the Vice Chair of the NCD committee at FIGO. Experts part of the deliberations were Dr. Olivia Barata Cavalcanti, Director of Science & Education at the World Obesity Federation (WOF); Dr. Vani Sethi, Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF; Zivai Murira, Nutrition Advisor, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia; Prof. Mark Hanson, University of Southampton and Prof. Fionnuala McAuliffe, University College Dublin.

Speaking about the recommendations discussed, Dr. Hema, pointed out, “POSHAN Abhiyaan follows four-point strategy for the implementation of the mission – Inter-sectoral convergence for better service delivery; Use of technology (ICT) for real time growth monitoring and tracking of women and children; Intensified health and nutrition services for the first 1000 days and Jan Andolan. The role of like-minded organisation and forums like ours are critical for the success of POSHAN.”

Dr Vani Sethi emphasised on the steps taken by the Government of India on ensuring nutrition-rich diet, rolling out capacity building, translating ideas into action and collaborating with professional organisations. Prof Fionnuala spoke about new FIGO obesity guidelines while Prof Hanson shared his experiences and best practices. The deliberations brought to fore several insights. WOF operates a training and certification program, SCOPE, which addresses professional development for obesity care in healthcare systems. Another programme MAPPS is aimed at monitoring obesity prevention and treatment in health systems across the globe.

Dr. Hema observed that such insights were critical to strengthening POSHAN Abhiyaan. “There are several experts and organisations in India that can be part of the Poshan Abhiyaan to implement best practices among clinicians to improve the nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women & nursing mothers and important aspects related to the programme,” she said.

Bengaluru-based ARTIST conducts training, teaching and research in order to fill these gaps through the practice of Skill Transfer. ARTIST aims at imparting such skill transfer training throughout the country in various phases. FOGSI runs focused programmes on maternal health and nutrition through its member organisations. The experts will connect with various such organisations to ensure that POSHAN Abhiyaan meets its objectives in the short as well as long terms.

ARTIST will collaborate with FIGO and other partners to pilot and escalate the implementation of the recommendations of the deliberations in India and Asia.

Dr. Faysal El Kak, Vice-President, FIGO and Dr. Moshe Hod, Chair of PNCD Committee, FIGO, made the opening remarks about the vision and mission of FIGO, the global voice for women’s health.

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