World Breastfeeding Week, 1-7 August 2017


“Sustaining Breastfeeding Together"
Breastfeeding gives all children the healthiest start in life. Breastmilk acts as a baby’s first vaccine, stimulates brain development, and protects a woman’s health. When mothers breastfeed, everyone benefits. Breastfeeding leads to lower health care costs, healthier families, and a smarter workforce.

Yet, only 40 per cent of children under six months of age are fed only breastmilk. UNICEF and WHO are leading a Global Breastfeeding Collective to increase political commitment for breastfeeding—one of the smartest investments a country can make. The initiative aims to increase early initiation, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond, together with appropriate, adequate and safe complementary foods.

Strategic Action Plan to reduce the double burden of malnutrition in the South-East Asia Region 2016-2025

The Strategic Action Plan to Reduce the Double Burden of Malnutrition in the South-East Asia Region 2016–2025 aims to provide guidance to Member States on comprehensive approaches to prevent malnutrition. This plan will serve Member States as an advocacy and reference tool to ensure that interventions covering all forms of malnutrition are addressed comprehensively in country policies, strategies and actions.

Work Programme of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, 2016-2025

The General Assembly resolution called upon FAO and WHO to identify and develop a work programme based on the Rome Declaration and its Framework for Action, along with its means of implementation for 2016–2025. The first draft of the Work Programme for the Nutrition Decade is now publicly available. This Work Programme is a living document and is being developed through an inclusive, continuous and collaborative process, building upon and connecting the independent initiatives of governments and their many partners.

Report on fiscal policies to reduce consumption of surgar-sweetened beverages and other regulatory measures to promote healthy diets in the Republic of Maldives

This report provides a situational analysis of unhealthy diets in the Maldives and global evidence on effects of SSB taxation, and assesses the effects of alternative specific excise taxes on consumption and revenue generation. It recommends, for consideration by the Government of Maldives, specific actions which would harmonize new fiscal policies to minimize substitution effects and enhance intended health benefits.

Recent Highlights

WHO Nutrient Profile Model for South-East Asia Region

The definition of ‘unhealthy’ is debatable, and therefore, an objective method of describing foods as healthy or unhealthy is needed. A nutrient profile model just does that and, therefore, a nutrition profile model for South-East Asia Region has been developed. The model is consistent with international guidance for preventing chronic disease and is a simple model with clear cut-offs for defining foods not suitable for advertising to children.

A practice guide to effective population-based food policy actions to promote healthy diets

This publication provides directions for a logical, evidence informed approach to selecting, developing, implementing and monitoring population-based interventions within the context of the double-burden of malnutrition in South-East Asia. The focus of this guide is on processed or ultra-processed pre-packaged foods. Implicit is the understanding that natural or minimally processed foods are best and their consumption should be encouraged whenever possible. This document also emphasizes that interventions are likely to be most effective when used in a coherent, integrated way to address underlying drivers and barriers to a healthy diet.

Highlighted publications and meeting reports

Sodium intake and iodized salt in the South-East Asia Region

Dissemination of WHO guidelines and recommendations on micronutrients: policy, practice and service delivery issues

Regional Report on Nutrition Security in ASEAN - Volume 2

WHO Ambition and Action in Nutrition 2016-2025

Technical consultation: "addressing and managing conflicts of interest in the planning and delivery of nutrition programmes at country level"

Guideline - Daily iron supplementation in postpartum women

Regional Director

My vision

I propose an ambitious “1 by 4” plan. The 1 refers to a more responsive WHO in the Region and the 4 refers to the 4 strategic areas:

  1. Addressing the persisting and emerging epidemiological and demographic challenges.
  2. Advancing universal health coverage and robust health systems.
  3. Strengthening emergency risk management for sustainable development.
  4. Articulating a strong Regional voice in the global health agenda.
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh
Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia

Meetings and Events

Regional workshop on strengthening national surveillance capacities on global nutrition monitoring framework in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, New Delhi, 27-29 June 2017

Contact us
Nutrition for Health and Development
World Health Organization
Regional Office for South-East Asia
Indraprastha Estate
Mahatma Gandhi Marg
New Delhi, 110 002 India
Tel : +91 11 2337 0804
Fax : +91 11 2337 8510