Capacity building workshop on school-based prevention of childhood obesity in Albania
To enhance and operationalize implementation of the Albanian Food and Nutrition Action Plan (FNAP) 2013–2020, a workshop was conducted on 28–29 October 2013 in Tirana, Albania focused on “Capacity building on evidence-informed action planning: School-based prevention of childhood obesity”.
The workshop organized in collaboration with WHO involved representatives from several government sectors, notably health, agriculture, rural development and water administration, education, sports, social welfare and youth.
Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is one of the Ministry of Health's priority areas for action, explained Ms Milva Ekonomi, Deputy Minister of Health, in her opening remarks. As NCDs constitute a major challenge for social and economic development and mitigation of poverty in Albania, their prevention and control are included in the country's health planning processes and development agenda.
The workshop strengthened capacities in all involved sectors in prioritizing interventions related to healthy diet and physical activity, based on evidence from the Albanian context and as defined by WHO methodologies and the FNAP.
Based on lessons learnt through the exercises, the group identified the need:
- to further promote and formally adopt the FNAP;
- to set up a National Committee on Food and Nutrition as a high-level intersectoral coordination mechanism; and
- to generate evidence that can be translated into action for all sectors involved, particularly in the fields of diet and physical activity in schools.