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Better Living in the Western Highlands of Guatemala
Nutri-Salud's "Programa de la Rueda de Prácticas para Virir Mejor," or Wheel of Practices for Better Living Program, was adopted April 22 by the Guatemalan Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance as part of its national strategy. The program is part of the Ministry's Child and Maternal Health Strategy and includes counseling for families by public health workers. It will also contribute to the Guatemala Government's Zero Hunger Pact, an initiative to reduce chronic and acute malnutrition in the country.
The wheel of practices, developed by Nutri-Salud as part of its Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) program, is a set of tools that addresses the prevention of malnutrition, common childhood diseases and maternal morbidity and mortality, especially in the 1,000 Days Window of Opportunity. The 1,000 Days advocates for improving nutrition for mothers and children in the 1,000 days between the start of a woman's pregnancy and her child's second birthday. Under-nutrition is a leading cause of death in young children throughout the world. For infants and children under two, the consequences of under-nutrition are particularly severe. They often have difficulty growing, resisting infection and recovering from disease.
In May, the project began introducing the wheel to healthcare providers in Guatemala's Western Highlands; they will help roll out the program to the 160,000 families in Nutri-Salud's 30 supported municipios. Each family will receive its own copy of the wheel in a vinyl poster format that will enable them to record contact information for health workers and track their progress on the wheel's 19 healthy behaviors.
USAID is currently featuring an image of the launch as the cover photo on its Facebook page.
May 30, 2014