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26 Aug 20

Project Update: Addressing Malnutrition in Mugu

Since March 2018, PHASE has been delivering a DFID funded project in Mugu aiming to address the underlying causes of malnutrition in the region. Rates of acute malnutrition are particularly high amongst children under five – a crucial time in a child’s health and development. Our approach seeks to achieve positive health outcomes through education and training in both nutrition and farming practices, which will bring sustainable and long-lasting benefits to the communities we are supporting through this project.

The project has now passed the final-year first-quarter milestone, giving us an opportunity to report on some of the successes and progress that has been made. In the last quarter, we have expanded the number of direct beneficiaries involved in the project to 1024 people, far surpassing our initial target of 800 people. Those enrolled on the project have participated in various activities and workshops across different aspects of nutrition and agriculture, such as mushroom farming, vegetable nursery management and transportation, and manure management. We have also provided attendees with seeds and necessary equipment, along with training on how to best use these tools.

Every person that is directly involved in a training and/or educational workshop is equipped with the knowledge and skills to peer mentor other household members as well as people in their community on the importance of healthy eating and growing certain types of foods. This means that there will be a wider number of people benefiting from the project outside of those directly involved. This approach is empowering and equips people with the skills to live nutrient-rich lifestyles long after the project comes to an end.

During the last quarter, we have had to adapt the way we are delivering this project due to Covid-19 and to make sure we can guarantee the safety of both those involved in the project and PHASE staff. We have reduced the size of training sessions so that they are now only conducted in small groups where social distancing protocols are met. Follow up sessions will also take place on a one-to-one basis. Home visits have been organised for pregnant and post-natal women to ensure those who are particularly vulnerable remain included in this project.

PHASE staff have also been supplied with PPE equipment to ensure that they are safe in maintaining project activities. We are closely monitoring the Covid situation in Nepal and remain confident that the project in Mugu will be seen through to completion in a safe manner, but we will take further measures if conditions begin to worsen.

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