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Maternal and child undernutrition: effective action at national level

Maternal and child undernutrition: effective action at national level
Maternal and child undernutrition: effective action at national level
80% of the world's undernourished children live in just 20 countries. Intensified nutrition action in these countries can lead to achievement of the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and greatly increase the chances of achieving goals for child and maternal mortality (MDGs 4 and 5). Despite isolated successes in specific countries or for interventions--eg, iodised salt and vitamin A supplementation--most countries with high rates of undernutrition are failing to reach undernourished mothers and children with effective interventions supported by appropriate policies. This paper reports on an assessment of actions addressing undernutrition in the countries with the highest burden of undernutrition, drawing on systematic reviews and best-practice reports. Seven key challenges for addressing undernutrition at national level are defined and reported on: getting nutrition on the list of priorities, and keeping it there; doing the right things; not doing the wrong things; acting at scale; reaching those in need; data-based decisionmaking; and building strategic and operational capacity. Interventions with proven effectiveness that are selected by countries should be rapidly implemented at scale. The period from pregnancy to 24 months of age is a crucial window of opportunity for reducing undernutrition and its adverse effects. Programme efforts, as well as monitoring and assessment, should focus on this segment of the continuum of care. Nutrition resources should not be used to support actions unlikely to be effective in the context of country or local realities. Nutrition resources should not be used to support actions that have not been proven to have a direct effect on undernutrition, such as stand-alone growth monitoring or school feeding programmes. In addition to health and nutrition interventions, economic and social policies addressing poverty, trade, and agriculture that have been associated with rapid improvements in nutritional status should be implemented. There is a reservoir of important experience and expertise in individual countries about how to build commitment, develop and monitor nutrition programmes, move toward acting at scale, reform or phase-out ineffective programmes, and other challenges. This resource needs to be formalised, shared, and used as the basis for setting priorities in problem-solving research for nutrition
adult, report, poverty, development, organization & administration, world health, child welfare, undernutrition, mortality, malnutrition, pregnancy, maternal, health, private sector, growth, female, program development, nutrition policy, humans, mothers, child, maternal welfare, age, children, china, politics, health promotion, adverse effects, food, nutrition, nutritional status, research, nutrition assessment, africa, decision making, economics, mother, health priorities, review, public health, south america, prevention & control
510-526
Bryce, Jennifer
d455dcba-9a12-4327-b3d4-493235569c98
Coitinho, Denise
2be017dc-5d96-4189-b918-664e7651aa35
Darnton-Hill, Ian
03d33b93-a88a-46db-af59-80640c494a9c
Pelletier, David
0ef5d0fb-db6b-461e-9746-72b46be6e46b
Pinstrup-andersen, Per
9c708bb9-f8d9-4d03-97b5-dd6f1ff66a48
Bryce, Jennifer
d455dcba-9a12-4327-b3d4-493235569c98
Coitinho, Denise
2be017dc-5d96-4189-b918-664e7651aa35
Darnton-Hill, Ian
03d33b93-a88a-46db-af59-80640c494a9c
Pelletier, David
0ef5d0fb-db6b-461e-9746-72b46be6e46b
Pinstrup-andersen, Per
9c708bb9-f8d9-4d03-97b5-dd6f1ff66a48

Bryce, Jennifer, Coitinho, Denise, Darnton-Hill, Ian, Pelletier, David and Pinstrup-andersen, Per (2008) Maternal and child undernutrition: effective action at national level. The Lancet, 371 (9611), 510-526. (doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61694-8).

Record type: Article

Abstract

80% of the world's undernourished children live in just 20 countries. Intensified nutrition action in these countries can lead to achievement of the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and greatly increase the chances of achieving goals for child and maternal mortality (MDGs 4 and 5). Despite isolated successes in specific countries or for interventions--eg, iodised salt and vitamin A supplementation--most countries with high rates of undernutrition are failing to reach undernourished mothers and children with effective interventions supported by appropriate policies. This paper reports on an assessment of actions addressing undernutrition in the countries with the highest burden of undernutrition, drawing on systematic reviews and best-practice reports. Seven key challenges for addressing undernutrition at national level are defined and reported on: getting nutrition on the list of priorities, and keeping it there; doing the right things; not doing the wrong things; acting at scale; reaching those in need; data-based decisionmaking; and building strategic and operational capacity. Interventions with proven effectiveness that are selected by countries should be rapidly implemented at scale. The period from pregnancy to 24 months of age is a crucial window of opportunity for reducing undernutrition and its adverse effects. Programme efforts, as well as monitoring and assessment, should focus on this segment of the continuum of care. Nutrition resources should not be used to support actions unlikely to be effective in the context of country or local realities. Nutrition resources should not be used to support actions that have not been proven to have a direct effect on undernutrition, such as stand-alone growth monitoring or school feeding programmes. In addition to health and nutrition interventions, economic and social policies addressing poverty, trade, and agriculture that have been associated with rapid improvements in nutritional status should be implemented. There is a reservoir of important experience and expertise in individual countries about how to build commitment, develop and monitor nutrition programmes, move toward acting at scale, reform or phase-out ineffective programmes, and other challenges. This resource needs to be formalised, shared, and used as the basis for setting priorities in problem-solving research for nutrition

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More information

Published date: February 2008
Keywords: adult, report, poverty, development, organization & administration, world health, child welfare, undernutrition, mortality, malnutrition, pregnancy, maternal, health, private sector, growth, female, program development, nutrition policy, humans, mothers, child, maternal welfare, age, children, china, politics, health promotion, adverse effects, food, nutrition, nutritional status, research, nutrition assessment, africa, decision making, economics, mother, health priorities, review, public health, south america, prevention & control
Organisations: Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 70307
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/70307
PURE UUID: c520a31b-3212-4a82-86ca-783115959ec3

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Date deposited: 03 Feb 2010
Last modified: 05 Oct 2018 12:12

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Contributors

Author: Jennifer Bryce
Author: Denise Coitinho
Author: Ian Darnton-Hill
Author: David Pelletier
Author: Per Pinstrup-andersen

University divisions

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