World Health Assembly 2025 targets and drivers of malnutrition in West Africa

The World Health Assembly (WHA) established an ambitious set of six global nutrition targets to reduce malnutrition by 2025. These WHA 2025 nutrition targets have been used to track countries’ nutritional situations, measure progress in reducing malnutrition, and guide decision making. With less than five years remaining to attain the WHA targets, it is a critical time to coordinate the nutrition community across policy, programmes, and research towards action. West Africa is one of the regions where progress on the six WHA targets has been insufficient. Regional stakeholders identified the need for a better understanding of the available evidence on the WHA targets, including a broad range of multi-faceted interventions to improve the nutritional status of children under five years old and women of reproductive age across the West African region.

To inform policy-relevant decision-making to accelerate progress on the WHA targets, TNWA have reviewed the existing landscape of research on the WHA targets in the West African region. We aimed to

  1. Identify and catalogue the existing peer-reviewed evidence to identify trends and research gaps on WHA targets;
  2. Identify and understand the existing capacity and leadership on WHA targets’ research present in the region,
  3. Assess the value of considering both health and social science literature to examine research on the drivers of malnutrition.

The output of this review will inform various stakeholders active in the region, including but not limited to the WAHO, UNICEF, and the Regional Nutrition Working Group.