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Officials discuss school nutrition policy at three-day consultations

Officials discuss school nutrition policy at three-day consultations

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The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment hosted two three-day consultations last week.{{more}}

On Tuesday, stakeholders in the Ministry of Health, along with the Ministry of Education and the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI), held a national school nutrition policy consultation, where the guiding principles of the draft policy on school nutrition were discussed.

The consultation was also convened to identify and develop core policy areas and implementation strategies for the national nutrition policy for schools, extend the scope of the national policy on nutrition in early childhood to childhood, and to present the recommendations of the evaluation of the school feeding programme component and updated situation of the nutrition support programme.

Food policy analyst Beverly Lawrence, nutritionists Audrey Morris, and Christine Bocage of the CFNI, World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organizations, facilitated the exercise.

Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment Clayton Burgin, addressing the opening ceremony at the Red Cross headquarters in Kingstown, said many of the core eating habits and behavioural patterns that may persist throughout adulthood were developed during childhood and adolescence.

He called for those concerned to ensure that the meals provided for the nation’s schoolchildren, meet the nutritional standard.

The meetings were held at the conference room of the Ministry of Health, located at the administrative building in Kingstown.

Following the opening ceremony, the minister moved to the training room of the National Insurance Services building, where a consultation on the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) was taking place.

This meeting saw health officials, along with personnel from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, National Parks, Ministry of Tourism, CARICOM, and the international Institute for Sustainable Development (ISSD) coming together for the exercise.

D. Therese Yarde of the CARICOM secretariat and project coordinator of the ACP-MEA project, ISSD representative Livia Bizikova, and Yasa Belmar of the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment facilitated these meetings.

Over the three days, participants examined the various conventions and environmental agreements and the implementation of policies related to these agreements.

In his remarks, Burgin advised the participants to set clear, measurable and time bound targets, so that their progress can be tracked and reported on.

He advised that in the process, the wasting of resources become a thing of the past, by seeking win-win solutions, which would reduce consumption and increase efficiency. (JJ)

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