Please join us in welcoming two nutrition champions from Kenya, Gladys Mugambi, and Esther Wamai-Kariuki, who will be visiting London this week to raise the profile for nutrition as an important maker and marker of development.

Gladys is the Head of Nutrition and Dietetics at the Ministry of Health, Government of Kenya. She has vast experience in setting up policies and programmes on micronutrient supplementation and fortification. She is also the focal point for the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement in Kenya, helping to mobilise resources for nutrition, strengthen partnerships, and raise accountability for nutrition investments.

Esther is a Senior Programme Officer at the Micronutrient Initiative, Kenya. Her main focus is maternal new-born health and nutrition and she provides technical assistance to the government and other stakeholders on these issues, with a focus on micronutrient interventions.

They bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience to raise awareness of the urgent need to scale up investments for nutrition, particularly micronutrient interventions, to improve the health and development of women and children. They will also be able to discuss Kenya’s success as the only country on-course for five of the six World Health Assembly (WHA) 2025 targets on nutrition. Additionally, they will highlight the progress that still needs to be made, and the support that the global north can provide to help achieve this.

We have a busy week ahead for our advocates. They have meetings with parliamentarians to share their knowledge, passion and experience for nutrition with key decision-makers. They will also be attending a dinner hosted in Parliament with parliamentarians, diplomats, and nutrition experts on 2nd November. Micronutrient Initiative President and CEO Joel Spicer, who delivered this month’s conference call and discussed cost-effective interventions to improve equitable nutrition outcomes, will also be meeting the advocates over the week.

A highlight of the week will undoubtedly be the launch of a report jointly developed by RESULTS, Concern Worldwide, and the University of Westminster, “What works for nutrition? Stories of success from Vietnam, Uganda, and Kenya”, on 4th November in Parliament. This report discusses the key drivers of nutrition progress in these three countries, and makes recommendations to other countries facing high burdens of multiple forms of malnutrition, and to stakeholders on how they should contribute to tackling malnutrition.

Excitingly, Esther and Gladys will be on the monthly conference call on Tuesday and will be able to meet in person members of the London group! They will also be meeting students at the University of Westminster on 6th November to encourage budding public health professionals!

Their visit is timely indeed, ahead of the UK government revising its position paper that will guide its priorities for nutrition over the next five years and in the run up to the second Nutrition for Growth Summit in Rio. Their voices will amplify ours in asking global leaders including the UK government to make Sensitive, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time bound (SMART) new commitments in Rio, thus pushing forward further progress towards the WHA targets to reduce global malnutrition.

If you would like to know more about the importance of nutrition, make sure you listen to our webinar recording on ‘Hidden Hunger’.