CooperationDevelopmentEconomy

The 3rd edition of the High Level Forum of Women Leaders successfully concluded

When High Level Forum of Women Leaders, organized by the Office of the First Lady for the Development in Burundi under the presidency of H.E. the First Lady Angeline NDAYISHIMIYE, who is also the President of the OPDAD section of Burundi, was held from October 10th to 12th, 2022. The theme of this third edition of the High Level Forum of Women Leaders was: “Health and nutrition of women, newborns, children and adolescents”.

The activities took place under the slogan : “Women Leaders – Let’s invest in the good health of women, newborns and adolescents”.

The opening ceremonies of the third edition of the High Level Forum of Women Leaders were enhanced by His Excellency the Vice President of the Republic Prosper BAZOMBANZA who was the delegate of His Excellency Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE, President of the Republic.

The first day of the forum was characterized by speeches of the guests of honor coming from different countries of Africa. Among these guests, H.E Salma KIKWETE, former First Lady of the United Republic of Tanzania. In her speech, Salma KIKWETE welcomed the invitation of H.E. the First Lady of Burundi to participate in these meetings. She also specified that every woman must invest in the promotion of the well-being of women, newborns and adolescents.

The second day was marked by the presence of the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria H.E. Dr. Aisha BUHARI who is also President of MIPREDA. This distinguished guest greatly appreciated the welcome given to her by the Burundian presidential couple. Before leaving on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, Dr. Aisha BUHARI expressed her joy to have been invited to participate in this forum. She called on all women leaders to be champions in their respective countries and especially to be committed to the fight against malnutrition. She also thanked H.E. the First Lady for inviting her. Dr. Aisha BUHARI also appreciated the initiatives of H.E. the President of the Republic for his unfailing support to women leaders in the execution of their projects. H.E. Dr. Aisha BUHARI promised to support the First Lady of Burundi in her missions to improve the welfare of women, newborns and adolescents.

During the three days of work, the women leaders were able to work on different themes. Among others, we would mention :

– Accelerating the reduction of maternal, neonatal and infant morbidity and mortality,

– Promotion of health and nutrition of school children and adolescents,

– Transforming food systems to make them healthier, more affordable, sustainable and resilient.

After three days of work, the women leaders made the following recommendations.

To the Women Leaders :

– Restitute the achievements of the forum at the level of associations, women’s cooperatives and girls’ solidarity groups at all levels ;

– Mobilize women to join cooperatives, savings and credit solidarity groups and to create income-generating activities in the agroforestry and fisheries value chains in order to empower them;

– To commit more to resilient and sustainable activities contributing to the improvement of nutrition and health of women, newborns, children and adolescents, including vulnerable groups, in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals ;

– Inform and sensitize women and men on the importance of family planning in general and in particular immediate post-partum family planning ; prenatal consultation, delivery in a health care environment, post-natal consultation, vaccination as well as the fight against malnutrition with emphasis on improving the diversity of diets;

– To sensitize women on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding until the first six months of life and the consumption of diversified foods to fight against stunting;

– To mobilize in favor of changing the eating habits of the Burundian population through a well-structured nutritional education as well as the limitation and spacing of births.

– Promote parent-child dialogue by addressing “taboo” topics that pose a threat to the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and youth;

– Sensitize adolescents and youth to promote responsible behavior in matters of health and reproduction ;

– Sensitize communities to better contribute to school nutrition activities (school canteens, food diversity, based on local foods)

To the OPDD BURUNDI :

– To update the roadmap on the recommendations of the second forum by taking into account the recommendations of this forum, 3rd edition;

– To ensure the mobilization of financing to improve the health of the mother, the newborn, the child and the adolescent ;

– To contribute to the elaboration of innovative strategies of mobilization of internal and external funds for the sustainable financing of health and nutrition by involving the private sector;

– To ensure the monitoring-evaluation of the implementation of the commitments of this forum.

To the Government of BURUNDI :

– Increase investments for child survival and well-being in health and nutrition, including social protection, education, water and sanitation, agriculture and livestock;

– Promote a multisectoral equity-based approach in all communities, especially communities with zero-dose children, to accelerate improvement in reproductive, neonatal, child and adolescent health indicators.

– Improve the working conditions of health care providers to ensure motivation and commitment to quality care ; and continuity of essential health and nutrition services through capacity building, equipping health facilities and supplying medical products and consumables ;

– Continue to integrate lessons on sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and young people, immunization and promotion of good nutrition into the basic, post-basic and university education programs

– Ensure the recruitment and equitable distribution of available human resources in general and in particular increase the number of midwives in maternity wards ;

– Promote access to sexual and reproductive health information and services adapted to adolescents and youth for the prevention of early and unwanted pregnancies and the use of psychoactive substances.

– Strengthen food systems to make them healthy, nutritious, affordable, equitable, sustainable and resilient while integrating the gender dimension into development policies and strategies in key sectors that address nutritional issues ;

– Promote the role of women as food producers and persons in charge of household nutrition and health in order to bring about perceptible changes in the fight against malnutrition and food insecurity.

– Develop income-generating activities during the lean season with the promotion of entrepreneurship as an important lever to ensure income throughout the year.

– Store and process agro-pastoral products to increase the nutritional value of food while improving business practices with competitive products on the local and international market.

– Scale up school canteen nutrition activities based on local foods.

– To contribute to the empowerment of community actors (light mothers, health agents, agronomists etc) by strengthening their capacities (materials, equipment, training) in order to enable them to continue prevention, care and promotion of good health and nutrition at the hill and household level.

The closing ceremonies of the activities of the 3rd edition of the High Level Forum of Women Leaders saw the participation of the President of the Republic HE Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE. In her speech H.E. the First Lady wished a warm welcome to the distinguished guests and she then thanked all the participants of the said forum. She expressed her expectations to see the conclusions of this forum which aim at the continuity of the fight for the well-being of the woman, the newborn and the adolescent.

Apart from the First Lady of Nigeria and the former First Lady of Tanzania, other foreign delegations were those representing the First Ladies of South Sudan, DRC, and Equatorial Guinea.

The forum also saw the participation of the diplomatic and consular corps accredited to Burundi, women Ambassadors of Burundi abroad, representatives of the United Nations System agencies in the sub-region and in Burundi, religious denominations, women leaders of the defense and security corps, and many others.

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