SPREADING NUTRITION KNOWLEDGE & EMPOWERING BETTER HEALTH
Malnutrition is still far too common in much of the Equatorial African Region (EAR). Great progress has been made in recent years, but we know that there’s still a lot to do to ensure good health in many parts of the world. And there’s never been a better opportunity to take on the challenge and succeed, transforming the health prospects of future generations.
As a leader in nutrition, health and wellness, one of our key ambitions is to democratise potentially life-saving knowledge. Thanks to technological advancements, we have an unparalleled chance to vastly expand our reach in the EAR market, covering the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania in particular.
Feature phone penetration is as high as 80% in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Data remains expensive but 2G connectivity is on the rise, giving us an exciting new channel to explore. Voice and SMS are both more widely accessible than ever before and the pace of digital innovation shows no signs of letting up.
Leveraging the strengths of Nestlé’s knowledge and new technology solutions, we’re in a position to tackle malnutrition head-on. So we want to work with you to help families provide their children with the best possible nutritional start in life. By sharing our decades of experience and expertise, we can educate people with low levels of nutritional awareness and a lack of access to knowledge and information sources. We can help them to combat disease, nourish their children’s social, mental and physical development, and save lives.
With you, we want to capitalise on the swell of feature phone connectivity to spread nutritional knowledge. Bringing together our experience, networks and new partners, we can create this powerful message and deliver it in a new, innovative and far-reaching way.
We’re looking for a partner (or partners) that can work with us to hone and deliver information, tools and tips that could save lives. We want to speak to families, communities, and mothers – the gatekeepers of health and wellness. We want to plug any gaps in their nutritional know-how through the channels that they use and engage with best, bearing in mind varying financial circumstances and levels of knowledge, literacy and digital connectivity.
By providing nutritional knowledge in an engaging way, we hope that essential information will be shared around families, groups and the wider community, taking advantage of local resources to drive the conversation forward.
Our message should be simple, accessible and informative. When it comes to buying food, the focus needs to move away from cost and satiety and towards balance and nutritional value. Over time, our ambition is to take this information to more people than has ever been possible through our existing, face-to-face, feet-on-the-ground approach and truly democratise nutrition, health and wellness knowledge across the EAR region.
There are a few considerations. We should bear in mind low literacy levels in some areas (38% illiteracy rate across the region) and consider audiovisual solutions. We should address the role of women in family health, and make sure that our way of providing information is engaging to this target audience in varied and diverse cultural settings. The focus should be on feature phones, not smartphones, bearing in mind connectivity in the region.
But the answer could be anything, so we’re open to all of your ideas. Whether it’s technology integrated into mobile handsets, a voice-based story-sharing network, an SMS knowledge-spreading solution, a networking tool that brings people together, an accessible information portal or a gamified platform, we want to hear from you. And don’t worry if you think you only have part of the solution – we can work with you and even collaborate with more than one partner if that’s the best solution.
Why it matters
Providing children with a good nutritional start in life has a huge impact on their social, mental, and physical development, particularly up to the age of three. By sharing our decades of experience in nutrition, we hope to create a positive socio-economic impact, educating people with low levels of nutritional awareness and helping them to improve their own health and the health of those around them.
If you have any questions about this particular challenge, you can get in touch with Guy here.