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Nutrition & Food Security

Ghanians making fufu, © 2008 Erberto Zani, Courtesy of Photoshare

Nutrition & Food Security

Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health for all people and critical to growth, development, and survival for children. Despite the importance of nutrition, much of the world goes without an adequate amount of nutritious food daily. Malnutrition is a major health issue that is far reaching across the globe with approximately 3.5 million people malnourished. It is often an overlooked or neglected health issue in part due to its underlying or hidden role in illness and disease. Across the global, malnutrition kills approximately 3.1 million children under the age of five and causes stunting in 161 million. However, the past decade has brought advances in combating malnutrition and much progress has been made globally to improve the nutrition of babies and children.

Micronutrient Supplements

Health volunteers carrying plates of sorghum
Micronutrient Supplements
Accounting for over 1/3 of child mortality, malnutrition is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.  Chronic undernutrition is the major cause of wasting and stunting among children in developing countries.  Micronutrient deficiencies such as Vitamin A, iodine deficiency, and anemia all have serious and wide range effects on health, cognitive abilities and mortality.
In Ghana, Vitamin A deficiency still affects 72% of the under 5 population and rates of iodine deficiency remain high in one third of districts.  To combat these diseases TRAction is supporting the roll-out of the Koko Plus supplement in three districts of Ghana.
 
In Bangladesh, malnutrition rates measured in underweight, stunting, and wasting remain alarmingly high despite impressive gains in population health. To target malnutrition and improve nutrition outcomes, the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) established the Institute of Public Health Nutrition (IPHN). To support the IPHN, TRAction is evaluating the progress of this process at the community clinic (CC) level employing a mixed methods, pre-post evaluation design.

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