Policy Documents

The-year strategic plan to prevent and control vitamin A deficiency is the outcome of a four-day Strategic Planning Workshop convened by the National Food and Nutrition Commission in Zambia in April 1999. The plan is being disseminated now in part because there may be readers interested in the specifics of the strategies adopted by Zambia in the plan but, more importantly, as a model of a comprehensive, strategic plan for any country wishing to develop a micronutrient deficiency prevention and control program.

Good nutrition is essential for healthy and active lives and has direct bearing on intellectual capacity, which eventually impacts positively on social and economic development of a country. Underlying this principle is the practical application of appropriate diet and healthy lifestyles that are dependent on stable and sustainable food security, quality caring practices, healthy environment and accessible quality health services. Therefore in order to maximise the health and economic benefits there should be in place sound food and nutrition policies and strategies.

In Zambia about 4.8 million people are living without clean water and 6.6 million do not have access to sanitation facilities such as toilets and waste disposal facilities. Recent evidence shows that diarrhoeal diseases which are associated with poor water and sanitation occur in about 26% of children in Zambia. This has negative effects on the nutrition status of children particularly in the first 1000 most critical days of a child's life. The present scenario shows that Zambia needs to accelerate its efforts in addressing issues of water, sanitation and hygiene if it is to save the lives of many children, increase economic growth and to meet the Millennium Development Goals.


Poverty remains a grave social economic challenge in Zambia. When coupled with under-nutrition, it not only threatens the current generation but debilitates long term
human capital development affecting future generations.


The National Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan (NFNSP) for Zambia covers 11 key strategic directions. These relate to improving food and nutrition, and give a major priority to new multi sector, synergistic efforts to strengthen and expand interventions related to and promote “the First 1,000 Most Critical Days” that prevent stunting in children less than two years of age. This strategy is multi-sectoral, founded in the National Food and Nutrition Policy of 2006, and incorporates a brief updated status review of key nutrition achievements and challenges. The NFNSP considers local and international food and nutrition research and recent efforts that support placing nutrition toward the centre of national development. The strategy is aligned as well with the global “Scale Up Nutrition” movement that calls for emphasis on well-proven, effective and low cost food and nutrition interventions.


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