UNICEF Launches New Report on Child and Maternal Nutrition
HKI's programs to reduce malnutrition are fully in line with UNICEF’s new report, "Tracking Progress on Child and Maternal Nutrition: A Survival and Development Priority," which highlights how proven and low-cost investments to improve the nutritional status of women during pregnancy and lactation, and of children during the first two years of life, not only reduce deaths but ensure children become healthy and productive adults.
Broadly, these key interventions are: the promotion of infant and young child feeding (including initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for six months and improved complementary feeding with continued breastfeeding from 6 to 24 months); vitamin A supplementation for children 6-59 months and post-partum women; universal salt iodization; fortification of staple foods and condiments; and multiple micronutrient supplementation. A central challenge is how to implement these actions so they have the greatest public health impact.
HKI meets this challenge by implementing relevant nutrition programs working with a broad array of development partners in 10 of the 24 priority countries cited in the report – which are those with the preponderance of the world’s stunted children.
In particular, HKI uses the Essential Nutrition Actions framework (ENA) which provides an operational mechanism to manage the wide-scale delivery of a bundled package of critical nutrition interventions to reach large numbers of needy women and children under two years of age. The ENA framework builds on existing nutrition and health programs of government and other non-governmental partners to make current nutrition-related services more effective in providing the right nutrition support at the time in the life cycle when it is most critically needed.
HKI also reaches beyond the health sector. For example, our internationally-recognized Homestead Food Production program integrates the ENA approach into agricultural programs to address the food security constraints to improved nutritional status.