Despite good health indicators at national level,which stand out in comparison to South Asian neighbours,maternal and child under-nutrition continues to be a majorchallenge in Sri Lanka. Additionally, significant health and nutrition inequalities can still be found across the country,between geographic areas and socio-economic groups. Most vulnerable areas, in terms of maternal and child health and nutrition indicators, are districts with the highest proportion of the population working on plantations (estate sector), rural poor as well as conflict-affected districts. These links between socio-economic inequalities and health and nutrition status highlight the need to advocate for pro-poor health and nutrition policies and strategies, and to foster multi-sectoral collaboration to reduce disparities.
Maternal and Child Nutrition Programme
Aims to improve the status of maternal and child nutrition through the Ministry of Health by developing and implementing the Integrated Nutrition Programme including management of severe acute under nutrition at community and facility level.
Integrated Nutrition Package (INP)
Launched in 2009, defines a set of key evidence-based interventions, including Infant and Young Child Feeding practices; growth monitoring; treatment of acute malnutrition with therapeutic and supplementary feeding; pregnancy weight gain monitoring; micronutrient supplementation and home based food fortification; in order to improve the nutritional status of children under five years, adolescents, and pregnant and lactating women. This milestone represents a paradigm shift from carrying out isolated activities to implementing a holistic package of interventions throughout the life cycle.
Nutrition Rehabilitation Programme (NRP)
The NRP was implemented in Menik Farm to manage malnutrition in IDP camps. It included the establishment of 21 Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers; training of Ministry of Health and NGO staff; awarenessraising and community mobilization; provision of services to manage moderate and severe acute malnourished children; and monitoring, evaluation and documentation.