Despite limited progress to date, we now see a growing political commitment to address the high rates of maternal and child undernutrition in the West African region. This commitment needs to be effectively translated into appropriate policy choices and program action to generate major large-scale and sustained change. Recognizing this, Transform Nutrition-West Africa aims to improve and support policy and program decisions and actions to accelerate reductions in maternal and child malnutrition through an inclusive process of knowledge generation and mobilization.

Regional Nutrition Challenges

Across West Africa, prevalence of the six World Health Assembly indicators for Maternal, infant, and young child nutrition remain high. The region continues to show unacceptably high rates of childhood stunting (19.2 million (31.4%) in 2016), accounting for half of the stunting increase in Africa since 2000 (UNICEF, WHO, and World Bank Group 2017). Currently, West Africa is one of five sub-regions in the world with stunting rates higher than 30% (ranking 4th, after Oceania (38%), East Africa (37%), and South Asia (34%)) (UNICEF, WHO, and World Bank Group 2017).

From 2000 to 2016, there has been a slow but steady increase in the prevalence of U5 overweight/obesity (1.9 million (3%) in 2016) (UNICEF, WHO, and World Bank Group 2017), and there continues to be a pervasive and an excessively prevalent burden of anaemia (ranging from ~52-88%) in U5 children (Annex 1). In addition, the prevalence of wasting and LBW are at 9% and 16% respectively, the highest when compared to the all other regions in Africa (Development Initiatives 2017).

Policy landscape

Most West African countries (with variation among them) have increased the use of policy instruments for nutrition and the establishment of multisectoral national nutrition coordination bodies. Transform Nutrition West Africa will work closely with the African Leaders Network, the African Union, ECOWAS, WAHO, national SUN teams and national and regional CAADP teams to help foster demand for evidence which is crucial to accelerate reductions in maternal and child malnutrition.

technical-notesicon
Technical Notes

Transform Nutrition West Africa is a regional initiative to support effective policy and programmatic action on nutrition through evidence generation, synthesis and mobilization. This technical note provides methodological detail on the nutrition data assessment conducted for a set of 17 key nutrition indicators in the West African region. It includes the stepwise approach to map…

technical-notesicon
Technical Notes

The aim of this rapid review was to identify and catalogue the available research evidence (from 1999–2019) on adolescent nutrition (10–19 years old) in West Africa. The review aimed to inform the West African Health Organization and other decision-makers so as to support policy and program development for adolescents in West Africa.

other-supporting-materialicon
Other Supporting Material

The Transform Nutrition West Africa project is a regional platform that aims to improve and support policy and program decisions and actions to accelerate reductions in maternal and child undernutrition through an inclusive process of knowledge generation and mobilization. Recognizing that knowledge is derived from evidence and experience, TNWA takes a ‘knowledge for action’ approach….

evidence-notesicon
Evidence Notes

Application of social network analysis to co-authorship data to understand and enhance collaboration Despite limited progress to date, we now see a growing political commitment to addressing the high rates of maternal and child undernutrition in West Africa. Such commitment needs to be effectively translated into appropriate policy choices and effective program action in order…