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By Barbara A. Underwood
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Extra info for Nutrition Intervention Strategies in National Development
Although these linkages to other community programs designed to meet specific local family and individual needs are important to maximize opportunities for synergistic supports, care must be taken not to piggyback nutrition intervention programs onto other ongoing programs in such a way that the system becomes overloaded. For example, it is very tempting to use health center personnel as implementers of food distribution programs and to expect them to provide monitoring and nutrition education as well.
A study of the families of severely undernourished infants revealed that 63% of the mothers were unmarried. In 32% of the cases, the mother was less than 18 years of age. There is a high frequency of prostitution. Illiteracy reaches 42% in this group, whereas the national average was 6%. It is necessary to give a legal basis to these family groups to make them more stable. Family planning programs must be launched to encourage responsible parenthood. 2. Nutritional intervention programs aimed at the high-risk groups: pregnant and lactating mothers, infants, and preschool age children.
It is essential that the political commitment as well as a portion of the monetary and other resources be decentralized and under the control of the implementors at lower levels of the hierarchy. Some flexibility in program selection, implementation, and budgetary allocation at the community level is critical to allow for culturally and socially appropriate adaptations (Table II). MULTISECTORIAL, VISIBLE, AND STABLE INFRASTRUCTURE A third element important to success is a stable, visible administrative structure for program implementation that allows for coordination of the activities in food and nutrition with those of other community projects.