Adequate nutrition is an essential prerequisite for improving and maintaining health. The critical role nutrition plays in health and development warrants greater commitment to and investment in nutrition in Uganda.
Uganda’s most common malnutrition problems are high rates of chronic malnutrition which is at 38 percent for children under 5 and micro-nutrient deficiencies, especially of Vitamin A and iron. Malnutrition plays a major role in child morbidity and mortality; 16 percent of children under 5 are underweight while 6 percent are wasted significantly increasing the risk of both morbidity and mortality in children
The high burden of malnutrition in Uganda is not only a threat to achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Vision 2040 but also a clear indication of inadequate realization of human rights. Reducing malnutrition in Uganda is not just a health priority but also a political choice that calls for a multi-sectoral focus driven by a political will that acknowledges the integral role that nutrition plays in ensuring a healthy population and productive workforce.
Civil Society Alliance for Nutrition Uganda (CISANU) is a professional organization legally registered in Uganda in 2017 as a non-profit organization.
CISANU has national and regional activities as an alliance of Organizations working with government to create and strengthen the coordination of a Civil Society platform to champion Nutrition advocacy.
It was founded as a result of the need for a multi-stakeholder response to address the nutrition challenge in Uganda through the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement.
Being part of the Global SUN – movement founded on the principle that all people have the right to food and good nutrition, CISANU has brought together multiple organizations from both nutrition sensitive, nutrition specific and Nutrition governance sectors such as;
- Uganda Health Communication Alliance – UHCA
- United Nations Association of Uganda – UNAU
- Uganda Media Women’s Association – UMWA
- Uganda Cancer Society – UCS
- Parental Roles in Values Empowerment – PROVE UG
- Uganda Network of Aids Service Organizations – UNASO
- Uganda Performing Rights Society – UPRS / UMA
- Food Safety Promotion and Advocacy Center – FSA
- African Heritage Agenda – AHA
- Makerere School of Public Health – MakSPH
- Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies – GLISS
- Uganda National Teachers’ Union – UNATU
- Parliamentary Press Association – PPA
- Center for Community Entrepreneurship and Development – CCED
- Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance – UAPA
- Uganda National Health Users/Consumers’ Organization – UNHCO
- And Media.
The Alliance operates its activities under:
The vision: “A Uganda free of Malnutrition”
Mission Statement: “To cultivate and coordinate civil society efforts to fight malnutrition in Uganda through supporting the design and implementation of appropriate interventions , promotion of effective communication , advocacy, social mobilization, research and accountability”.
This makes CISANU a highly effective advocacy platform that works across multiple sectors in an effort to end malnutrition by use of various media platforms including radio and television, engaging key stakeholders such as parliamentarians and communities and participates in global conferences to highlight key nutrition issues.
The Purpose and Objectives of CISANU are;
- Increase research, know-how and communication output in nutrition and related health interventions.
- Provide an efficient supportive infrastructure amongst civil society organizations to facilitate collaborative research, training and communication in scaling up nutrition.
- Develop the capacity of civil society and media in conducting research in scaling up nutrition and related health interventions.
- Participated in the launch of The Nutrition Society of Uganda (NSU)
- Participated at the SUN – Movement Global Gathering in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
- Participated on the Declaration on Parent/Guardian Led School feeding to support quality Education for All in Uganda
- Conducted Media and CSOs Dialogues
- Participated in the Launch of the National Nutrition Forum 2018
- Convened strategic planning meetings
- Made Radio and TV shows in an effort to scale up nutrition in Uganda
CISANU therefore, ensures that the voice of civil society is strong and coherent when it comes to scaling up nutrition in Uganda.