Nutrition

Overview

What UNICEF is doing

Raising nutrition profile

Scaling up intervention and services

Nutrition in emergencies

Impact with equity

Results for children

 

Scaling up intervention and services

In partnership with the government, UN agencies and other actors, UNICEF aims to scale-up proven, high impact, cost effective nutrition interventions to reduce undernutrition.

These interventions include vitamin and mineral supplementation, the promotion of breastfeeding and complementary feeding, and the treatment of severe acute malnutrition, amongst others.

UNICEF’s top priority is to ensure that local government authorities genuinely own and effectively lead their work to improve nutrition status. This is critical if actions are to be sustained.

UNICEF advocates with district health departments to ensure they prioritize nutrition, and works with them to build their skills in planning, budgeting and coordinating the delivery of nutrition services for children and women.

The government has recently introduced a new cadre of nutrition officers at district and regional level. UNICEF is working with the government to develop an in-service training program for these officers so that they have the knowledge, skills and competencies to function as effective managers.

UNICEF assists the district health departments in building the skills of health services providers in delivering services to children and women. In addition, UNICEF works through district health and community development departments, health providers and communities in the field, to helps families learn essential skills and basic knowledge in the nutritional care of young children. This includes best practices in breastfeeding and complementary feeding, the promotion of iodized salt consumption, and health-seeking behavior.

UNICEF works with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) and with districts to ensure that vital nutrition supplies and equipment are available in health facilities, including vitamin A supplements, deworming tablets, highly nutritious therapeutic foods to treat severe acute malnutrition, and equipment to measure nutrition status.

Essential nutrition interventions and services

  • Supplement children and women with vitamins and minerals to prevent deficiencies.
  • Support and promote breastfeeding and complementary feeding.
  • Treat severe acute malnutrition as a medical emergency.
  • Prevent and treat diseases that precipitate malnutrition.
  • Fortify foods with vitamins and minerals, and salt iodization.
  • Nutrition-sensitive agriculture and livestock policies and programmes.
  • Safety nets and social cash transfers to help the poorest families.
  • Early warning and response to nutrition crises.

 

 
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