Providing lifesaving and protective nutrition interventions to most vulnerable children and women in 3 drought affected districts

Nutrition Action Zimbabwe (NAZ) is implementing an emergency nutrition response project in Chiredzi, Mutare and Mwenezi with funding from UNICEF. The intervention seeks to address the challenges brought about by the protracted drought and socioeconomic crisis prevailing in the country. It was designed to address priorities identified by the Nutrition cluster and detailed in the national humanitarian response plan. The project ends in December 2020. It targets 62,643 children under 5 and their caregivers in the three district who will be reached through:

1. Active screening for acute malnutrition
2. Early treatment for acute malnutrition
3. Infant and Young Child Feeding in emergencies (IYCF-e) messages

The project has capacitated community health workers to be able to conduct active screening in their villages and -provided them with tools and resources such as muac tapes and stationery that allows them to document the work they are doing. The project also facilitated the training of facility-based health workers in the management of acute malnutrition to ensure that all health facilities in the district have at least one trained health worker. The same health workers are supported through on-job training and support to ensure their skills are perfected.

To strengthen response coordination, the project supported monthly coordination meetings at district level where the response is coordinated to ensure gaps are identified and resources are utilized efficiently by all actors within the respective districts.

Other innovations include the introduction of community feedback mechanisms to ensure that project participants have a say in the running of the project. Feedback is being received through suggestion boxes and toll-free lines from across the three districts. The project has also introduced remote and near real time monitoring and surveillance through sms based weekly reporting for community health workers.

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