Angola: Children, Food Security and Malnutrition in Angola
Three decades of civil war have left Angola with precarious health indicators: the country has one of the highest child mortality rates in the world, and its children suffer from high levels of chronic and acute malnutrition. The Joint Programme's purpose was to alleviate hunger and malnutrition among poor and vulnerable groups in three particularly hard-hit provinces: Bie, Moxico and Cunene.
The programme brought together different actors with complementary knowledge and capacities to:
- Strengthen capacities for recovery and community management to mitigate hunger and malnutrition;
- Increase advocacy for the protection of children from the adverse effects of rising food prices; and
- Improve research, monitoring and evaluation of food and nutrition of children in beneficiary areas.
A breakthrough for the programme in the revitalization of health services was the extension of nutrition services in the three provinces, which included: opening units in areas of health nutrition - equipment, training in nutrition protocol, plumpy nut - and a review of the treatment protocol for nutrition. As a result, there was a 20% increase in the detection rate of severely malnourished children between 2010 and 2011, and a 60% increase between 2011 and 2012.
Other key achievements include:
- The treatment of severe malnutrition was facilitated, with 4,166 children treated in 2010, 3,637 children in 2011 and 5,298 children in 2012.
- The programme and the Government of Angola supported Vitamin A supplementation and deworming of children under 5 years. Coverage of vitamin A supplementation increased from 75% in 2010 to 85% in 2011, and deworming from 82% to 88%.
- Health services implemented a package of accelerated reduction of child mortality in six cities. The package included: prenatal consultations and malaria prevention; daily lectures at health centers to 450 and 600 community workers in Moxico and Bie respectively, who were trained to disseminate key family practices and family strengthening skills; producing and valuing local products to improve the nutritional status of the beneficiaries; seven days of polio vaccination and door-to-door discussion of key family practices by trained activists; promotion of breastfeeding.
- 300 and 53 social workers in Bie and Moxico, respectively, were trained (for ToT-training of trainers) in good health practices and Food Security and Nutrition.
- The integrated management of food crises was reinforced: in 2012, when 10 provinces were affected by drought, the Joint Programme partners were able to conduct a rapid assessment of the situation, mobilize funds and develop a response plan.
- Thanks to trainings on agricultural techniques and expansion of cultivated land, local farmers introduced new cultures such as honey, vegetables and aquaculture. As a result, local food production increased 30% in targeted areas.
Click here for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Angola.