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Global Nutrition Efforts

Global Nutrition Efforts

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.
 
While promotion of diverse diets has been part of Ghana Health Service nutrition programs, the multiple causes of anemia complicate the solutions.  The causes of anemia vary greatly depending on the region, population and environment. While iron deficiency accounts for an estimated 50% of all anemia in the developing world, additional factors such as malaria, hookworm and other infectious diseases (i.e. diarrhea, HIV, etc.) can also contribute to reduced hemoglobin levels. The impact of anemia on children can also vary depending on the cause. Where there are multiple causes of the anemia, there may be interactions which may worsen the effects of any one cause. Thus, it is almost impossible to determine the percent of anemia in an individual attributable to the different causes because often there is more than one cause in one person or in a population group. Nevertheless, it is widely accepted that when one looks at the mix of possible causes of anemia in a Ghanaian child, iron deficiency will be the most common cause in the mix, followed by malaria, and then a much smaller contribution from other causes, like hemoglobinopathies.  A variety of strategies have been adopted to reduce anemia in infants and children. These include increasing food fortification, iron supplementation, anti-malaria actions, and de-worming, as well as instituting delays in infant cord-clamping. For young children, a priority is often given to improving the availability of iron rich foods and the adoption of these foods into the diet of adults, children and into the weaning (complementary) foods.  TRAction is supporting the roll-out of the Koko Plus nutrition supplement to support and strengthen the nutrition programs in place in the Ghanaian health system.
 
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.
 

Our Partners

Collaborative Efforts

Implementing Social Marketing

Ghanians making fufu, Photoshare
Implementing Social Marketing for Improved Nutrition

TRAction studied the implementation of social marketing techniques to improve nutrition through the update of the KokoPlus nutrition supplement in Ghana. This implementation research focused on generating demand for the product through community engagement with caregivers, pregnant women, heads of households, and opinion leaders. 

Implemented by Exp Social Marketing Foundation

Study Location: Ghana: Akwapim South, West Akim, Suhum Kraboa Coaltar districts

Mainstreaming Nutrition in Bangladesh

Mainstreaming Nutrition in Bangladesh

The aim of the study is to assist the government in implementing national nutrition services at the community clinic (CC) level.

Implemented by International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research (icddr,b).
 
Location: Sirajganj and Mymensigh Districts, Bangladesh