Suaahara II is dedicated to improving the health and nutrition of mothers and their children in the 1000 days period from conception until a child reaches 24 months of age. This period is recognized as a crucial timeframe during which nutritional interventions have optimal impact on child growth and development. Suaahara II will also engage men, mothers-in-law, and adolescents to expand health and nutrition knowledge and services. In particular, the program will address anemia, reproductive health, menstrual hygiene, food diversity, health service utilization and social attitudes towards delayed marriage and pregnancy. Suaahara II builds upon the work conducted in Suaahara I with 1000-day mothers, using an integrated cross-sectoral approach.
In the context of Sindhupalchok, Suaahara II spreads its activities in 79 VDCs to improve health and nutritional status of 1000 days mothers and child of those backward/ marginalized communities. Our 20 field supervisors have been allocated in 79 VDCs and they are responsible for creating awareness regarding nutrition, health, sanitation and hygiene; improving access to clean water; and introducing home-based gardening as a way to encourage a balanced and healthy diet i.e Harek Bar Khana Char.
Home visits were conducted as regular activity in all 68 VDCs and 2 Municipalities every month. Our field supervisors conduct home visit of 1000 days mothers and babies, counsel mothers about importance of 4 ANC visit, consumption of 180 IFA tablet, postnatal care, exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, hygiene and sanitation, and food diversity (harek bar khana char) for 1000 days mothers and babies. Likewise, Health Mother group’s monthly meetings is a structure of Government of Nepal where our field supervisors also relay message in above-mentioned topics.
PHC-ORCs have been captured as an opportunity for meeting new 1000 days mothers. Utilizing these forums of PHC-ORC, field supervisors reinforce INP messages to mothers, health services and facilities offered by the health facility. INP messages like the significance of Harek Baar Khana Chaar, 4 ANC visits, institutional delivery, immunization and growth monitoring, among others are discussed during the PHC-ORC by the Field Supervisors.
On the programmatic implementation side, a one day MSNP orientation workshop was organized with the objectives to capacitate VDC secretaries and Municipality ward level focal persons about MSNP. VDC secretaries and Municipality ward level focal persons plan ensure to regularize the meeting of V/MNFSSC for the nutrition review and program update and to create the enabling environment to utilize VDC and Municipality Block Grant for promoting the nutrition status of 1000 days mothers and children below two years of age.
At community level, a total 79 rounds of MSNP consultative meetings were conducted by field supervisors in coordination with VDCs secretaries, health post incharge, FCHV, and representatives from livestock and agriculture service centre to create a common understanding of MSNP and prepare an annual work plan accordingly. Likewise, 78 rounds were supported to regularize CAC, to promote key messages of SUAAHARA II and promote Banchin Ama radio karyakaram.
Another important component of SUAAHARA II is its homestead food production and promotion of eggs and chicken for improving nutrition behavior of 1000 days mothers and babies. Two of Tuki’s VMF Mrs Sarita Dhungana (Talamarang and Mrs Sangita Khadka(Ichok) were financially supported in establishing and strengthening the Brooding Center for improved chicken breeds. With objectives to promote short term nutritious fruits in homestead garden scale and promote nutrition value chain, 500 banana suckers were distributed to VMFs, 1000 days, and FCHV.
On the day’s celebration side, for the purpose to raise awareness and reinforce nutrition, health, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) behaviors, the SUAAHARA II team celebrated various nutrition-related days such as World Breastfeeding Week, Female Health Community Volunteers (FCHV) day, National Iodine month, International Water Day, and Internationals Women’s Day in coordination with DHO and multi-sector stakeholders at the district and community level. Since April 2017 onwards, supervisors have collected information of 17,000 households of Sindhupalchok district with objectives to identify target groups of SUAAHARA II for push messages, economic status through equity quintile.