Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) has recently partnered with Nutrition International (NI), a Canada-based international not for profit agency, to introduce a new initiative called “Nutrition of Working Women (NoWW)” to improve health conditions of women garment workers working in knitwear factories in Bangladesh.
The launch ceremony was held at Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon in Dhaka and the Whip of the national parliament Abu Sayeed Al Mahmood Swapon was the chief guest of the event. BKMEA Vice President Fazlee Shamim Ehsan presided over the function.
“It is highly important to have a healthy and productive working force which may increase the production quantity to sustain as a middle income country as well as to maintain the overall socio economic development. BKMEA is working with NI solely for the betterment of women health,” said Fazlee at the function.
The initiative has been specifically designed to improve worker’s health, nutrition, and well-being of female workers in the manufacturing sector. Under the terms of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), 20 master trainers will be trained who will further train other trainers to supply iron and folic acid tablets among the female workers in knit factories.
It will demonstrate a delivery mechanism of weekly Iron and Folic Acid (WIFA) supplementation and provide nutrition education session for male and female workers.
“Improved iron stores will lead to the prevention and control of anaemia in women workers of reproductive age,” said Brian Harrigan, Vice President, NI. He further informed that they have been working towards ending malnutrition through NoWW and will continue with a special focus on working women.
Nutrition International works to eliminate vitamin and mineral deficiencies in developing countries. Globally, more than two billion people live with vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
More than three million women are employed among four million people in the garment industry. “The government is a woman-friendly government and working for improving women’s health and wellbeing in the country. It’s also a commitment of our SDG goal-3,” said Abu Sayeed.
Dignitaries such as High Commissioner of Canada to Bangladesh Benoit Préfontaine, additional secretary of Health and Family Welfare ministry Habibur Rahman Khan, Director General of Bangladesh National Nutrition Council (BNNC) Dr. Shah Nawaz, ILO Country Director Tuomo Poutiainen were also present at the event.
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