Nutrition

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Situation Updates:

The trend analysis of national nutrition sentinel surveillance (NNSS) data from health facilities and community sentinel sites across the country shows a slight increase in acute malnutrition levels and underweight rates in Q3-2018 compared to Q2-2018. Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates were higher in Q3-2018 (23.7%) compared to Q2-2018 (19.2%).  Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) rates increased in Q3-2018 to 10.2% compared to Q2-2018 (7.7%). Underweight rates increased from 35.4% in Q2-2018 to 39.1% in Q3-2018). The Afghanistan Nutrition Cluster expects that the effects of the 2017 drought will likely result in an increase in the acute malnutrition caseload from November 2018 to April 2019( the next harvest period) particularly for children under five years of age.

 

Achievements

·         Continued support to sentinel-based nutrition through 175 health facilities and communities.

·         The 2018 quarterly nutrition surveillance bulletin was used to forecast expected trends in caseloads of acute malnutrition and appropriate response planning.

·         Trained 187 health workers in order to strengthen service readiness and the availability of inpatient management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in response to drought.

·         Provided support to 35 Therapeutic Feeding Units (TFUs) and trained 284 health workers have been trained on inpatient management of SAM in 2018.

·         Provided support on functionalising the Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation framework for the implementation of the National Nutrition Strategy.

·         Supported MoPH in developing the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) strategy.

·         Supported development of nutrition modules in pre-service training curriculum for health cadres in tertiary institutions.

 

Programme Risks and Challenges:

Insecurity and geographical constraints remain the greatest barriers towards optimal implementation and monitoring of nutrition interventions at health facilities, compounded by inadequate coverage of services. The protracted emergency situation and dynamic situation requires real-time information on the nutritional status of children, which is not always possible to acquire due to the weak integration and follow-up of nutrition information systems.

 

Way Forward:

§   Continuous support to strengthen inpatient management of severe acute malnutrition services through training and kits distribution

§   Continue to support the strengthening of nutrition information systems and the improved analysis and use of data 

§   Support efforts to tackle the double burden of nutrition (under- and over- nutrition) through evidence generation, development of strategies and guidelines and implementation plans.

§   Support coordinated efforts to support government interventions through the ONE UN approach.

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Key health-related statistics

Population (m) 29.7
Health expenditure (% of GDP) 9.5
Adult (15+) literacy rate (%) 34.8
Life expectancy at birth F/M (2010) 63.2-63.6

Sources: Central Statistics office, Afghanistan National health Accounts, Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey, Afghanistan mortality survey. 

Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

Afghanistan country health profile

Regional Health Observatory

WHO Afghanistan Programme Overview 

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Afghanistan WHO headquarters page