In Niger, where the Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project has worked to improve nutrition since 2015, MIYCN [maternal, infant, and young child nutrition] behaviors are influenced by cultural norms and practices, including polygamy and an emphasis on male decisionmaking.
Over the past six years, we’ve partnered with agricultural training institutes, local mothers’ support groups, health facilities, and government ministries to reduce malnutrition from many different angles. But in Ghana, our project was in the sweet spot of a public-private partnership between USAID, the NGO Project Peanut Butter, and The Hershey Company to provide protein-packed foods to school children.
In countries like Rwanda, the Maternal and Child Survival Program is working to protect children from diseases and to improve their access to lifesaving treatments. This includes building capacity to plan, leverage resources, and scale up high-impact, cost-effective child health interventions. It also means extending child health services to hard-to-reach populations and those with limited access to services.
Through the five-year Resiliency in Northern Ghana project, USAID is testing a different approach to promoting sustainability by investing in local governments directly. This approach builds local governments’ capacity to develop action plans and related budgets, and to implement and closely monitor nutrition and livelihood outcomes, which creates a strong sense of community ownership and builds resilient local systems for effective programming.
A diverse, nutrient-rich diet is the most sustainable way to prevent the negative effects of micronutrient deficiencies, such as anemia and other conditions, which can permanently impede children’s physical and cognitive growth, increase maternal and infant morbidity, and in extreme cases, lead to mortality. To address these issues, Uganda’s Ministry of Health began working with USAID in 2016 on a project to make fortified foods and supplements available to communities that cannot receive these necessary nutrients from their local food sources.
Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both infants and mothers. It is critical during the first six months of life as it is a complete source of nutrition for babies and helps prevent diarrhea which is one of the major causes of death in infants. It also contributes to optimal cognitive development.
Mothers are never alone in making choices about how to feed their children. Husbands, mothers-in-law, friends, village elders, doctors, employers, and even policymakers who surround mothers influence their nutrition practices. It makes sense that we need to engage these influencers as well as mothers to facilitate sustainable change.
Mobile data collection is an exciting new tool that complements our approach to conducting surveys. Here are four lessons we learned about mobile data collection from our Resiliency in Northern Ghana project team and some tips to help in your own work.
Today, on World Water Day, we focus on the crucial role of clean water in good nutrition and health.
Studies have not only shown that the majority of malnourished people are women and girls, but analyses of the distribution of nutrition-related tasks have also revealed the heavy workload of women and low involvement of men. This is why it is important to take gender relations into consideration in the fight against malnutrition.