SUAAHARA means “Good Nutrition” is an integrated nutrition program sponsored by USAID. This program targets 1000 golden days mother (from the first day of her pregnancy until the child becomes two years old), children’s and their families. This is a five year program (2011-2016) focusing 41 districts in Nepal with weak nutrition status.
Why SUAAHARA ?
Mal-Nutrition is a big problem in today’s world. According to one survey report published by UNICEF on the conditions of children’s world wide , 37% of children’s below 5 years of age in under developed countries have problems with their growth which is one of the main reasons of mal-nutrition.
Lack of good nutrition results poor physical and mental developments among children which further results in the development of poor immune system and lesser brain development among them. Further any youth grown up with all these deficiencies will yield no result for the country in the future which will further weaken country’s economic condition.
In Nepal, Some of the main reasons for poor nutrition status among infants and their mother can be sum up as lack of excess to health care services, poor sanitation environment, lack of knowledge on how to feed child and in what proportion and ratio most of all low quality food supplies all around. To achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goals of health, education and economic status as set, nutrition issues are one of the most important factors especially among infants. If the nutritional status is not good than it will directly hamper the health, economic development and productivity in any nation. To help achieve these Millennium Development Goals and upgrade the nutritional status, programs such as SUAAHARA plays one major vital role.
SUAAHARA FOR WHAT ?
SUAAHARA is one program which works through various multi-regional, national as well as local governmental agencies and is devoted towards working and up bringing the nutritional status of mothers as well as children’s below 2 years of age. This program aggregates nutritional, agricultural, sanitation as well as health services to address the reasons of mal-nutrition or less nutrition. SUAAHARA also works on areas of social behavioral changes and runs awareness programs, which can further change the behavior of individuals, family as well as the society as a whole where issues such as gender equity and social involvement are given prime importance.
HOW SUAAHARA WORKS?
SUAAHARA Program helps government in executing its 5-year multi-regional nutritional program which looks after pregnant women and children’s below 2 years of age as well as the nutritional issues related with mothers and problems associated with it. To make positive behavioral change in the society, this programs works in coordination with all types of social health volunteers (both health and non-health related), Fchv’s, social mobilizers as well as with agencies such as mother groups and citizen awareness centers. This program works focusing on all major activities and subjects, which are very much important and linked to the nutritional issues. Also, extensive inspection and evaluation techniques are used for the successful execution of the program.
The SUAAHARA Program lead by the Nepal Government and initiated under Save the Children is being executed in coordination with various supporting agencies like Helen Keler International(HKI), John Hawkins Bloomberg School of Public Health center for communication program(JHUCCP), JPAIGO, Nepalese Technical Support Group (NTAG), Nepal Water for Health(NEWAH) as well as Nutrition Promotion and Consulting Services(NPCS).
- Provide training on a package of integrated and evidence-based essential nutrition actions for health and non-health service providers, Female Community Health Volunteers, mothers’ groups, and household decision makers, especially mothers-in-law and husbands.
- Support improvements in nutrition and maternal and child health services through a focus on quality improvement.
- Promote good water, sanitation and hygiene practices at the household and community leveling support of GON efforts to achieve“ open defecation-free” status for key districts.
- Enhance health workers’ capacity to provide effective counseling on healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy as critical for good health and nutrition.
- Mainstream homestead food production activities (vegetables and backyard poultry farming) to increase year-round access to diverse and nutritious foods at home.
- Enhance multi-sect oral coordination on nutrition between the GON and others actors for the effective planning, implementation and monitoring of integrated nutrition activities via technical assistance to national working groups.
- Reduce the prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight among the children under two years of age in 20 target districts.
- Improve infant and young child feeding practices.
- Increase the consumption of diverse and nutritious foods by pregnant and lactating women and their families.
- Increase the use of quality health services, especially for the management of diarrhea and acute respiratory infections.
- Improve the utilization of quality maternal health services.
- Reduce the prevalence of diarrhea among children under five years of age.
- Increase the number of households using improved drinking water sources.
- Increase the number of households using improved sanitation facilities.
- Strengthen multi-sectoral coordination on nutrition among GON ministries and other stakeholders.
- Increase the number of USAID-supported service delivery sites that offer family planning services.
BES-Nepal as a Local Partner of SUAAHARA PROGRAM
BES-Nepal is an LNGO of SUAAHARA PROGRAM for Nawalparasi and Palpa district. Since July, 2012 in Nawalparasi and April, 2015 in Palpa, BES-Nepal is actively working in both these districts in an efficient manner in the local level for the effectiveness of SUAAHARA Program. Being an experienced organization for SUAAHARA Program as well as an organization devoted towards organizational development, BES-Nepal is currently working as a local partner in the Palpa district.
SUAAHARA Program is effectively functioning in all the VDC’s and Municipalities of both Palpa and Nawalparasi. A five year program, SUAAHARA is currently in its last stage in Nawalparasi whereas it’s working with the baseline programs in Palpa aiming for the second phase of the same.