Mozambique is riddled with malnutrition. Nearly half of all children under 5 years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition, and an estimated 37% of children under 5 are stunted. There are several underlying causes of chronic malnutrition, including food and nutrition insecurity, lack of access to health and nutrition services, and a misunderstanding of nutrition associated with cultural food-related beliefs, traditions and taboos, which negatively affect the feeding of young children and children still breastfeeding. Malnutrition, in addition to contributing to increased infant mortality and poor health among children, has a detrimental impact on school success, family income and perpetuates the cycle of intergenerational deprivation.
This results brief presents the ongoing progress achieved by the Ministry of Health (MoH), with support from N’weti, in the implementation of the Nutrition Intervention Package (PIN), which aims to improve nutrition status of children under 2 years of age in Mozambique. The project is covering 8 provinces: Niassa, Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambézia, Tete, Manica, Sofala and Inhambane.
Amid this multifaceted challenge, with N’weti’s support to the implementation of the PIN since 2022, the overall performance of the project is already above expectations and showing good progress towards reaching the goal of 40% coverage (674,921 children) by the end of 2023, with efforts made to ensure the highest quality of data and its management, having registered only a 1% discrepancy between the data entered in MoH’s SIS-MA (Sistema de Informação de Saúde para Monitoria e Avaliação) and the data from PIN’s monthly summaries.
A few noteworthy elements that uphold the data presented are: i) community health workers (APS) showing good performance in regards to the provision of the nutrition services, as well as registration in data recording and reporting instruments with acceptable quality; ii) supervision and technical support to monitor the quality of services provided in nutrition sites and the quality of data, and coverage of children with the complete PIN, is key to identifying success factors and needs for improvements; iii) ownership of the PIN package by the APS also ensures the necessary foundation for the progress in achievement of the reaching a large number of children with the complete PIN; iv) monitoring the availability of nutritional supplements, available with the APS and in the health units, and level of intermediate and provincial deposits, is a key activity of the project. The lack of nutrition supplements is a major obstacle in the coverage of more children with the complete PIN, with 46,104 children in the 51 districts covered who didn’t complete the PIN due to lack of supplements available; v) showing the impact of the lack of supplements on achieving the goals of the PIN, and the urgent need to ensure the allocation of supplements - especially for those provinces that showed higher levels of stockouts; and vi) community mobilization ensures an increase in the number of children enrolled in the package. The project ensured the involvement of health committees, community leaders, and role models in the PIN activities at the community level.
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