Tajikistan

Prevention and Treatment of Moderate Acute Malnutrition Project

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Project Objective

Funded by USAID and the World Food Programme (WFP), this project provides support to the Government of Tajikistan to address the root causes of malnutrition and strengthen its capacity to sustainably manage nutrition interventions in the country. It contributes to the Government’s progress on Sustainable Development Goals 2 (Zero Hunger), by providing access to appropriate nutritional support and health care in targeted rural areas.

Situation and Solution

Tajikistan continues to face a challenging food security situation, with malnutrition rates amongst the highest in Central Asia. In response, the project effectively supports the treatment of more than 24,000 children affected by moderate acute malnutrition and improves the health of children aged 6–59 months in five target districts by increasing access to quality nutrition. This includes the identification and treatment of malnourished children aged 6-59 months, including providing specialized nutritional food (Super Cereal Plus). The project also educates parents and caregivers to their children's nutritional needs at more than 250 local primary health care centres.

Performance

In collaboration with the Republican Scientific-Clinical Centre of Paediatrics and Child Surgery, an electronic registration process for beneficiaries, using the System for Cash Operations Conditional On-Demand Assistance (SCOPE CODA) application, was initiated in 20 primary healthcare centres in Balkhi district in November 2018. The application is an upgrade to SCOPE, a beneficiary information and transfer management platform, that allows for the digitization of both beneficiary and program data. The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population endorsed the expansion of the SCOPE CODA application to other districts supported by WFP’s nutrition activities to develop a national solution, scaling up the digitization process.
WFP launched activities related to social and behaviour change communication to support malnutrition prevention by conducting formative research on certain nutrition-related behaviours. The formative research identified a number of key behaviours: complementary feeding practices, dietary diversity of children aged 6-59 months, extra nutrient consumption of pregnant and lactating women, as well as the consumption of unhealthy snacks by children. The social and behaviour change communication formative research finalized its report in consultation with other stakeholders under the Scaling Up Nutrition network and in close collaboration with the ministry.

Current Accomplishments

  • 9,345 children aged 6-59 months (4,244 boys and 5,101 girls) were admitted to the moderate acute malnutrition treatment program in five pilot districts in Fiscal Year 2020.

  • Approximately 66 metric tons of Super Cereal Plus distributed in over 250 primary health care facilities in Fiscal Year 2020.

  • Successful piloting of the SCOPE CODA application, and its expansion to one more target district - Kulob.

  • Conducted SBCC trials on interventions including hand hygiene in schools and households, reduction in the household consumption of vegetable oil, and household preservation of vegetables were successfully completed in Balkhi district, and the report was finalized.

  • 51 (18 male and 33 female) primary health care staff were trained on how to use the SCOPE CODA device and application for the electronic registration of patients in Kulob district in Fiscal Year 2020.

  • Parents of the children in the treatment program attended awareness raising activities on supplementary feeding and nutrition.