Action Against Stunting Hub at UK Parliament

UKRI GCRF Action Against Stunting Hub hosted a four-day exhibition in the Upper Waiting Hall, the UK Parliament, from June 19 to June 22. It showcased the hub's groundbreaking work on childhood stunting and the collaborative approach adopted across three hub countries, India, Indonesia, and Senegal. Childhood stunting is a severe public health concern, affecting millions of children globally, leading to long-term physical and cognitive development consequences.

The exhibition thus aimed to raise awareness about the determinants of child stunting by showcasing the hub's community science, interdisciplinary and whole-child approach that shifts the dial from individual drivers of stunting to a holistic, joined-up understanding of the problem. The work was witnessed by stakeholders, policymakers, and experts from different fields of public-policy interface with a keen interest in combating the problem.

The exhibition featured informative panels outlining the initiatives undertaken in three hub countries – India, Indonesia and Senegal. These countries represent different geographical regions and socioeconomic conditions, presenting diverse challenges that require tailored approaches.

The exhibition was also commemorated by a discussion and information event held in the UK Parliament that saw participation from policymakers, including representatives from the UK Parliament and international organizations.

At the event, Lord Jonathan Oates, CEO of United Against Hunger and Malnutrition (UAHM), highlighted the urgency of addressing childhood stunting, stating, "We must unite in our efforts to eradicate malnutrition and stunting among children. This exhibition is a testimony to the power of collaborative actions that can bring positive changes in the lives of millions."

Lord Collins, chair of APPG Nutrition for Development, expressed his optimism about the event's potential impact," By bringing together experts from different sectors and three hub countries, we can foster innovative solutions to combat childhood stunting."

The country leads also shared the country contexts, community-based interventions, nutritional programs, and healthcare initiatives that have significantly reduced childhood stunting in the respective hub countries. Claire Heffernen, PI, Action Against Stunting Hub, emphasized the importance of continued international cooperation and support to extend the success to other regions facing similar challenges.

The four-day event concluded on a promising note, with attendees acknowledging the importance of scaling up successful interventions and fostering long-term partnerships between governments, civil society, and the private sector. As a significant step in the ongoing global efforts to combat malnutrition and stunting, the exhibition in the UK Parliament served a critical point for initiating conversations about the whole-child approach. These inspiring actions will lead to a healthier and more prosperous future for children worldwide.

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