The 6th Annual Conference of Food and Nutrition Society of Ethiopia (FoNSE) was held from 26 - 27 August 2016 in Addis Ababa under the theme “Nutrition: the Foundation for Sustainable Development”.
The two-day event was opened by keynote speaker Mr. Hussein Faris from Ethiopia Public Health Institute (EPHI). In his opening remarks Mr. Hussein said that nutrition is an important health concern that contributes to low economic development and a large share of child mortality in developing countries. He highlighted that in Ethiopia nutrition caused diseases are increasing in prevalence and has put financial burden on the government. He is pleased to see FoNSE has taken this issue on board for this conference as he stressed without improving capacity of human resource and institutional capacity the country cannot be able to adequately address nutrition.
Chaired by Deputy General Director and Nutrition Advisor at Micronutrient Initiative Africa, Dr. Abdulaziz Adish, the plenary session brought four experts from diverse fields to the stage: Dr. Aweke Kebede from FDRE Ministry of Health, who outlined the actions that the Ethiopian government is taking to address the causes and consequences of malnutrition by following multisectorial approach and incorporating line ministries in the national nutrition coordinating body; Mr. Tewodros Girma from Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority of Ethiopia (FMAHCA), who highlighted the work being done by FMAHCA in preparing and enforcing regulatory standards, initiate policies and regulations, identify deleterious ingredients that may have caused harm, undertake surveillance, ensure proper disposal of expired foods; Mr. Eyoel Legesse, Ministry of Industry - Food Beverage Pharmaceutical Industry Development Institute (FMoI/FBPIDI), who discussed the significant efforts of the Ministry to strengthen the capacity of industries to support production and distribution of food items as a means to produce fortified foods; Mr. Bereket, Ministry of Education, He spoke about the success of the Ministry in feeding 2.8 million children as per the school feeding program and how this has playing a great role in increasing the enrollment rate.
After the plenary session the rest of the conference was dedicated to special focus sessions led by different professionals including Dr. Namukolo Covic, IFPRI Research Coordinator. There were two separate sessions on “Adolescent, Material and Child Nutrition and Socio-economic Development” and “Food Safety (Health Burden and Trade Barriers)” and simultaneously poster presentations were also held during breaks. The conference featured the input of 39 oral and 34 poster presentations.