Nestlé Congo hosts a Nutrition Conference

To Press Releases listSep 12, 2014

There is need to tackle the issue of nutrition from a multi-sectorial integrated approach and for concerned stakeholders and institutions to develop and align with a strategic plan in dealing with issues of nutrition in Democratic Republic of Cong’o. This was the recommendation of a 170 delegates conference held in Kinshasa and organized by Nestlé Congo SPRL.

Delegates drawn from the Ministry of Health, non-government organizations and academia, also observed the need for governmental support as well as economic operators and that of empowering woman on their role as mothers especially in matters of nutrition.

The one day nutrition conference themed, ‘The First a Thousand Days of a Child: One of the Best Investments for Nutrition, Health and Development; was organized to evaluate the role of good nutrition in growth and development of a Congolese child, and the latters impact on the economy among others.

During the conference, stakeholders also agreed that there must be a multi-sectorial investment in the well-being of the Congolese population from the early and critical stages of life.

“We thank Nestlé for aligning itself with the DRC’s President’s vision of reducing the nutrition deficiency in the country. As government, we continue to encourage the collaboration between private and public sector to address these issues on nutrition in the country,” said Hon. Mr. Celestin Vunabandi, The Minister of Planning and special representative of the Prime Minister has he opened the forum.

The day’s discussion revolved around three sub-themes namely: - Nutrition: one of the best investments for economic development, Specific Approach during the First 1000 Days of the Child and Multi-sectorial Approach for a Good Integration of Nutrition. Speakers at the event included Dr. Hans Khoodo, of Nestlé S.A., Dr. Franck Otete of Nestlé Congo and Pr. Okitolonda Wemakoy from CDC-PEPFAR/ESP.

Dr. Hans Khoodoo explained the importance of proper nutrition during the first 1000 days of a child’s life. “Proper nutrition plays a great role in ensuring the development of the child into a productive adult with all the physical and intellectual faculties necessary to contribute positively to society,” he said.

Other speakers included Dr. Babakazo, Pelagie from the Public Health School; M. Mutisumu Mufeng, from Superior Institute of Medical Techniques and Pr. Biselele Therese, from the Universities Clinics of Kinshasa.

Stressing the importance of the day’s topic, Dr. Biselele submitted that the effects of poor nutrition on the mental and physical faculties of a child during the first a thousand days are irreversible and thanked Nestlè for organizing the event. Professor Apollinaire Mulumba, from Superior Institute of Medical Techniques and Pr. Kodondi Kule-Koto Fridolin, of the Research Institute of Health Sciences were also in attendance.

The event was held on Thursday 28 August 2014 and chaired by Professor Leonard Mashako Mamba, Paediatrician and Congo’s former Minister of Health and High Education.