In the spring of last year, the Department for International Development (DFID) began funding a three-year nutrition project. The programme aims to tackle malnutrition in Mugu, one of most remote regions we support, by increasing skills training opportunities, increasing awareness of nutrition and putting pressure on local government and opinion leaders to invest both emotionally and financially in this preventable issue. Set to conclude in 2021, we thought we’d share with you what we have achieved over the last few months of the project.
The programme aimed to enroll around 800 farmers on a series of agricultural training courses. Less than one year into the project the number of enrolled farmers had increased to 984. The third quarter of the first year was our most successful yet. Significant improvements were made, allowing us to continue to deliver on our three-year programme. The following information highlights the successes from this quarter.
Tackling malnutrition requires an integrated approach as there are many ways to address the issue. The programme so far has combined agricultural training classes and workshops with material support, follow up support, health visits and nutrition training. This approach hopes to tackle malnutrition from multiple angles, improving our chances of reducing it for good. The third quarter saw an increase in the number of agricultural training sessions delivered, and the number of farmers’ meetings held.
The third quarter also saw an increase in material support. Improved seeds were distributed among farmers to set up nurseries in their gardens for vegetables such as aubergine, green beans, cauliflower, cabbage and tomatoes. Combined with the appropriate knowledge and tools, these crops can be grown all year round.
On top of this, PHASE distributed the following materials to help support crop production:
Health checks continued to run. Every three days PHASE Nepal health staff conducted door to door check ups. These involved ensuring sick patients were receiving appropriate medical care, education young couples on contraception and advising families on hygiene and sanitation. In the third quarter, 170 visits were made, reaching over 1250 people. On top of this, a number of other health and nutrition related sessions were run:
- 5 children’s nutrition workshops
- 14 School health education programmes
- 7 Healthcare management committee meetings including 113 influential community members
- 173 Traditional Healers were provided an orientation programme on improved nutrition and health practices
- 8 community based neonatal and childhood healthcare training sessions
The last few months saw even more significant development, having already exceeded initial targets for the entire three-year programme. As the project moves into its second year, we are excited to see what else can be achieved.
We have just released our 2018 impact report Do please have a read of it to find out what we have been able to achieve over the past year. For more development stories and updates, check out the rest of our blog.