Country: Nepal

Asian woman feeding young child

Project Name – Integrated Infant Young Child Feeding (IYCF), Micronutrient Powder (MNP), Early Childhood Development (ECD), and a national micronutrient survey

Objective/Purpose:

  • Design and implement a monitoring and evaluation system for the IYCF/ MNP/ ECD program
  • Design and implement a national micronutrient survey

Program Background:

CDC’s International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control (IMMPaCt) team supports the Nepal Ministry of Health and UNICEF country office to plan, implement, and evaluate with a package of interventions to improve the health of children 0 to 23 months. The package includes IYCF, MNP, and ECD. After piloting these in six districts, a phased approach to scale up to all 75 districts in Nepal began in 2012. Since the pilot phase, CDC has provided technical assistance to develop a monitoring and evaluation system and has helped identify effective distribution models.

In addition, CDC provided technical assistance for designing and implementing a national micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) survey. The purpose was to assess samples of vulnerable populations for micronutrient status—specifically vitamin A, iron, folate, iodine, zinc and the condition of anemia. The survey also collected information on body measurements, infectious diseases, blood disorders, and markers of inflammation. Additionally, the survey assessed priority indicators for national supplementation, fortification, and other key micronutrient and nutrition interventions. CDC carried out a secondary analysis of the predictors of anemia among children 6-59 months old, adolescent girls and boys, and non-pregnant women of reproductive age.

Activities:

The IYCF/MNP/ECD intervention is scaled up to 41 districts by the Government of Nepal with the intention to scale up nationally. Discussions regarding the next steps, including troubleshooting bottlenecks, are underway. The national micronutrient survey data are being used for revising national nutrition policy, such as the standard for salt iodization.

Potential Impact:

The impact evaluation demonstrated improvements in IYCF practices and some micronutrient status indicators. The impact evaluation provides needed information to Nepal and the global community about the effects of integrated programs in realistic conditions. The national micronutrient survey provides high quality nationally representative micronutrient and nutrition information for the country. Decision-makers and stakeholders are using this information for planning, monitoring, and evaluating interventions to improve nutrition and health status in Nepal. It will guide revisions to national nutrition policies.

Next Steps:

CDC will continue to provide technical assistance to Nepal for the use and interpretation of the impact evaluation and national micronutrient survey results. The work will support the availability and use of timely, high quality nutrition data.

For more information, see the bibliography of research published by CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity staff. Press Control+F and type Nepal in the new search box that appears. Research from activities in Nepal are available in each year listed.