Bangladesh National Nutrition Council

Bangladesh National Nutrition Council (BNNC) located at Mohammadpur, Dhaka the Bangladesh National Nutrition Council was established in 1975 by an order of the President, Government of Bangladesh. The BNNC has been reconstituted several times by the Government. The members of the Council are the concerned ministers, secretaries, senior administrators, policy makers, nutrition experts, journalists, heads of relevant organisations, and divisional women representatives. The management of the council is vested in an Executive Committee (EC), headed by the Minister for Health and Family Welfare. Secretaries of different ministries and heads of different organisations represent the other EC members. The BNNC also has a Standing Technical Committee consisting of technical experts on nutrition.

The objectives of the BNNC are the formulation and updating of the National Food and Nutrition Policy; approval of nutrition programmes for different ministries and institutes; and monitoring and evaluation of nutrition research programmes. Other functions include- establishment of a nutrition information and documentation centre, preparation of a national plan for nutrition, organising national and international conferences and training courses; publishing and disseminating technical and general information on nutrition; and providing financial support for nutrition related research projects.

BNNC has formulated the National Food and Nutrition Policy, prepared the National Plan of Action for Nutrition, developed the Bangladesh country paper on nutrition, food-based dietary guidelines, a vulnerable group development curriculum on nutrition, a growth card to monitor the growth and a bar scale for measuring weight of the children. The council prepared the Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition Project, and developed a nutrition curriculum for all tiers of education. It is also providing training on various aspects of nutrition to personnel of different government and non-government organisations, teachers of schools, madrasas, and other agencies including international ones like the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b). It observes the National Nutrition Week every year since 1998 at national, district and upazila level to create nutritional awareness among the people of the country. BNNC provides technical support on different aspects of nutrition to various government and non-government organisations, and other development partners or donor agencies. It organises national and international seminars, workshops, and conferences on different areas of food and nutrition, and disseminates messages on nutrition through Bangladesh Betar (Radio) and the Bangladesh Television. The council publishes a half-yearly journal called South Asian Journal of Nutrition.

The secretariat of the BNNC is responsible for providing secretarial and technical support to the Council and its different committees. The secretary is the executive head and is supported by 16 officers and 13 supporting staff. The BNNC secretariat also conducts research either through the experts of the secretariat or by contracting out to other research organisations. [Mohammad Abdul Mannan]