Guinea-Bissau: Promotion of a multi-level approach to child malnutrition
Although Guinea-Bissau has made progress in reducing its child mortality rate, one in 10 children still die before reaching the age of 5 and a quarter of all children under 5 are moderately to severely malnourished. The UN Joint Programme “Promotion of a multi-level approach to child malnutrition” is aimed at reducing child malnutrition and mortality by improving the country's capacity to monitor and treat malnutrition and by promoting better nutrition and food practices.
More specifically the programme is:
(1) Reinforcing the capacities of existing health and nutrition rehabilitation centres to treat malnourished children;
(2) Building the capacity of 150 communities in the most vulnerable areas to promote basic nutrition counselling and surveillance;
(3) Developing nutrition activities such as school gardens at 150 community schools to teach children good nutrition practices and ensure that they eat vegetables at least once a day; and
(4) Building the capacity of the Ministry of Health to effectively monitor nutritional activities at the local level.
The Joint Programme in action
JOINT PROGRAMME QUICK FACTS
- The management of acute malnutrition cases is being implemented in 24 nutrition rehabilitation and 94 health centers. 100% of beneficiary communities (150) have trained community health workers (816 against 600 planned) in all three beneficiary regions in the early detection and prevention of stunting and other forms of malnutrition.
- 167 school gardens have been established in beneficiary communities (against 150 initially planned) and 90% of school children are consuming vegetables produced in school once a day.
- The Ministry of Health has improved its capacity to effectively monitor nutritional activities at the local level and can now provide updated data on nutritional status in the project area. A communication and advocacy strategy has been implemented to raise awareness and increase citizen participation in MDG-related policies and practices, including partnerships with community radio, communities, regional authorities, teachers and citizens.