Delivering Essential Nutrition Services through Community Action in Cambodia

Empowering community-based cadres and platforms is the key to delivering effective nutrition services at scale in Cambodia

Delivering Essential Nutrition Services through Community Action in Cambodia
UNICEF Cambodia/2019/Chansereypich Seng

Highlights

Despite progress in reducing poverty, Cambodia continues to face high levels of malnutrition, particularly among the urban and rural poor. This report explores the roles of community-based workers in providing nutrition services and how they can be further leveraged to scale up essential nutrition services.

The study found significant potential to expand the range of nutrition services delivered through community-based systems in Cambodia. The country has various service providers, such as Village Health Support Groups (VHSGs), the Commune Council for Women and Children (CCWC), and Baby-Friendly Community Initiatives (BFCIs) that operate independently from the Ministry of Health. However, there are challenges to their effective operation that include inadequate training, lack of supervision, reliance on donor funding, and insufficient operational guidance.

The report emphasizes the crucial role of community-based workers in delivering nutrition services and calls for increased investment and coordination in community health initiatives to achieve equitable health and nutrition outcomes for all children and women. Recommendations include updating national guidelines to establish a minimum standard package of nutrition services, developing competency-based training for VHSGs, increasing government investment in community health services, and standardizing supervision structures to enhance effectiveness.

Delivering Essential Nutrition Services through Community Action in Cambodia
Author(s)
Mueni Mutunga and Polly R. Walker
Publication date
Languages
English