Senegal: Preventing and managing child malnutrition in highly vulnerable regions
Persistent drought and the rise in food prices have taken a heavy toll in Senegal: more than two million people lack food security and nearly one in five children under the age of 5 is stunted. The Joint Programme's objective is to lower the acute malnutrition rate of children in the five most affected regions to below the international emergency level of 10%.
The programme is based on three strategies:
i) Capacity building of national and local structures for strengthening monitoring and coordination;
ii) Communication and advocacy for behavioural changes; and
iii) The provision of adequate food for children in primary school and the promotion of a healthy environment in pre- and elementary schools that is conducive to learning.
Initiatives include promoting better feeding practices based on local foodstuffs, providing micronutrients and deparasiting treatments for children and creating a monitoring and early warning system.
JOINT PROGRAMME QUICK FACTS
- 412,174 children aged 6-59 months were screened for malnutrition. 16,196 children identified as moderately under-nourished were treated in community health centers.
- The local production of food improved thanks to the availability of production equipment and agricultural inputs (seeds, fertilizer).
- The Ministry of Health received funds to conduct a SMART Survey (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions) on the nutritional status of the population. Results have shown rates of severe under-nutrition from 5% to 14% across regions, which will allow for the development of targeted action.