Jan 13, 2014, updated January 2014
Nestlé is determined to play a part in addressing the increasing burden of under-nutrition in developing countries worldwide. In 2012 we launched our pilot Ma Nutrition c’est Ma Santé programme – My Nutrition it’s My Health – in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to identify different nutritional gaps in children’s’ diets.
Children who are malnourished may experience stunted growth, have reduced IQ levels, as well as a lower resistance to infection due to insufficient levels of Vitamin A, Zinc, Iron or Iodine.
Recent figures released by the World Health Organization have revealed that over 40% of children under the age of five in the Democratic Republic of Congo have stunted growth.
Focusing on nutrition education, the Ma Nutrition c’est Ma Santé programme in the DRC is aimed at children aged nine to 12 years.
It encourages children to make healthy choices, improve their nutrition knowledge and help adapt their attitudes to food.
Nestlé follows the Ministry of Health’s guidelines and expertise on nutrition education, and supports the Ministry’s efforts to encourage healthy eating habits by educating the children on malnutrition and the importance of indigenous foods.
Nestlé also supports the Ministry of Education by aligning its work with the national education programme.
All activities are planned and implemented by the Nestlé Healthy Kids Congo steering committee, which comprises of the Ministries of Health and Education, and Nestlé. The committee aims to increase its membership to include non-governmental organizations and academia.
The company has also adopted guidelines from the Plan National de Développement Sanitaire 2011 to ensure it is aligned with national efforts to improve the general health of Congolese communities.
In a show of their strong support, Nestlé Congo employees take part in the Nestlé Healthy Kids volunteer scheme in their free time.
Value to Society
Ma Nutrition c’est Ma Santé is a school-based initiative that targets children, parents and teachers.
Throughout the year each class in selected schools take part in Healthy Kids activities.
Students are given course material to use in class and to take home.
Teachers from selected schools are trained in nutrition education and encouraged to teach pupils the importance of healthy eating as well as the benefits of physical activity.
Both government bodies, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, have supported the programme by monitoring the initiative each month and carrying out quarterly reports.
They have also worked with teachers to keep a record of the Healthy Kids activities.
The Ma Nutrition c’est Ma Santé programme reached more than 2,400 children, over 70 teachers, and ten schools in three areas of the capital of Kinshasa in 2012.
Value to Nestlé
Establishes a global competitive advantage and demonstrates Nestlé’s commitment to address health issues globally; has a positive impact on Nestlé’s reputation as a leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company.
Ma Nutrition c’est Ma Santé was initially launched as a pilot programme. Its success has encouraged Nestlé to work towards introducing the initiative into the national school curriculum in the long term.
The company also hopes to extend the programme to rural areas in the region to increase awareness about nutrition education in local communities. We hope to reach about 17,500 children in the next phase.