Integrating Nutrition into Child Health
To address malnutrition, high rates of stunting, and anemia, MCSP links preventative and curative programming through community-based efforts. These include integrated community case management (iCCM) – the use community health workers to manage diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria – and efforts to address feeding (including breastfeeding) of small and sick newborns.
In partnership with the Ministry of Health in DR Congo and Programme Nationale de Nutrition, MCSP conducted formative research to inform the design and integration of both preventative and curative aspects of nutrition into the iCCM program implemented by MCSP in Tshopo and Bas-Uele provinces. Interviews and discussions with beneficiaries provided insight into the quality of:
- Treatment(s) administered for child illness;
- Level of knowledge and advice given to mothers and families on child illness; and
- Beliefs and perceptions regarding infant and young child feeding (IYCF), child illness, and care seeking behaviors by mothers and their families.
The results of this study are seminal for DR Congo, as this is the first study on drivers of nutrition practices in the country in more than 20 years. Results will inform programming to address gaps, weaknesses and opportunities for improving IYCF practices, nutrition services, and integration of nutrition into iCCM programming.
In Malawi and Zambia, MCSP supports operationalization of the Essential Care for the Small and Sick Newborn into the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) platform. This includes orientation of MCSP-trained BFHI master trainers on feeding of the small and sick newborns, who have then gone on to train BFHI facilities in these two countries. The Program will apply a bottleneck analysis on inpatient feeding of small and sick newborns in selected facilities in Malawi and Zambia following the completion of the operationalization of these guidelines.