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UNICEF supports Strategic Nutrition Framework for cholera response in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, 6 December 2010 - The Ministry of Health (MSPP) with technical support from UNICEF has launched the Strategic Nutrition Framework for Cholera Response in Haiti. Several other partners such as WHO, WFP, Fondefh, Action Against Hunger and AVSI are also participating in this effort.

The objective of this plan is to contribute to the prevention of the propagation of the disease and reduce mortality due to cholera particularly among children. “In October 2008, we published National Norms on Infant and Young Child Feeding. The MSPP is very concerned about the nutritional status of vulnerable groups,” said Dr Joseline Marhone Pierre, Nutrition director in MSPP. She added that the Ministry has just adopted, in May 2010, the first integrated protocol for the management of acute malnutrition in Haiti.

Françoise Gruloos-Ackermans, UNICEF’s Representative in Haiti, emphasized the importance of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of the epidemic among children, especially those between 6-24 months who are most vulnerable to cholera. “The fight against cholera should be conducted on many fronts and children’s nutrition remains fundamental in what we do every day to support the government in containing the epidemic,” she said.

“Breast milk protects children against cholera because of its anti-infective properties and also protects against dehydration and malnutrition. This is why all children under six months should be exclusively breastfed and breastfeeding should continue up to 24 months and beyond,” she said.

“Cholera is not transmitted through breast milk,” stressed UNICEF’s Representative.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

For further information please contact:
Jean-Jacques Simon, Chief, Communications, jsimon@unicef.org




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