Meeting discusses maternal nutrition programmes for KP

Peshawar   -   The Nutrition International and Department of Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa jointly organised the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial consultation meeting for National Policy Dialogue and Economic Care for maternal nutrition, at Peshawar.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Health Directorate Nutrition Wing, MNCH Merged Areas, MNCH Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, LHW Programme, M&E, DHIS, Academia, all UN Organisation, MTIs, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, and INGOs working on Nutrition & MCH, senior Gynaecologists, and public health associations.

The meeting proved to be effective in mapping maternal nutrition programmes in the province and identifying challenges, opportunities, and actions needed for effective implementation of the maternal nutrition programmes. Similar consultative sessions will be held in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.

NI launches NourishMaa campaign in KP

 Nutrition International, in collaboration with the Health Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), has launched the ‘NourishMaa’ campaign in the province. The initiative aims at enhancing maternal nutrition by improving the knowledge and skills of healthcare providers (HCPs) and frontline health workers (FHWs).

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Health KP, Syed Qasim Ali Shah, highlighted the urgency of addressing maternal malnutrition and the essential role of healthcare providers in fostering a healthier future. He called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders to implement effective interventions and ensure sustained improvements in maternal nutrition throughout the province.

Referencing the National Nutrition Survey (NNS) 2018, the minister noted that women of reproductive age face a triple burden of malnutrition in the province. To tackle these issues, the government prioritises women-centric and equity-based strategies and programs, which have guided the development of this campaign.

The NourishMaa campaign, led by Nutrition International in collaboration with the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination (MoNHSRC) and provincial health departments, complements the government’s ongoing efforts to enhance women’s nutrition in Pakistan. Currently operational in four districts of Sindh – Karachi East, Korangi, Qambar Shahdadkot, and Larkana – and two districts of Punjab – Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur, the campaign now includes Mardan and Battagram.

The campaign’s core objectives are to raise awareness about maternal nutrition and strengthen the capabilities of HCPs and FHWs in both public and private sectors, incorporating nutrition counselling into their routine practice. This initiative aims at reaching over 6,000 HCPs and FHWs in the targeted districts, enhancing their knowledge and capacities in maternal nutrition and integrating nutrition counselling into their daily activities.

“Nutrition International is dedicated to advancing maternal nutrition in the country through research, program implementation, technical assistance, policy advocacy, and capacity building of key stakeholders,” said Deputy Country Director for Pakistan, Nutrition International, Dr Irfan Ullah at the launch event. He added, “Improving knowledge, attitudes, and practices of healthcare providers is a key component for creating an enabling environment for maternal nutrition and this objective is at the core of what the NourishMaa campaign aims to achieve.”

Based on the campaign’s learnings, Dr Irfan emphasised the need to integrate maternal nutrition into harmonised medical and allied health curriculums and enhance accountability for maternal nutrition service delivery within the health sector.

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