CARE Bangladesh champions multi sectoral approach to tackle malnutrition

In the remote haor areas in Sunamganj, Bangladesh, a band of community actors are working in collaboration with different stakeholders, from different sectors to create a resistance against malnutrition. Nasima is one such Community Health Care Provider (CHCP), who enquires and confirm antenatal services and Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) tablet consumption of pregnant mothers with the support of Community Support Group (CSG) members.

Through CARE Bangladesh-GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Community Health Worker Initiative, she is also working to ensure health care at satellite clinics or through Private Community Skilled Birth Attendants (P-CSBA) for those mothers who are unable to come to the clinic. Due to her untiring efforts, currently, no mother in Nasima's community is beyond the reach of her Community Clinics (CC). Nasima regularly measures the weight, height, and mid-upper arm circumference of children under 2 years old at the CC and refers critically malnourished children to the Sub district (Upazila) hospital.

With the help of the CSG members, she has built a demonstration plot for vegetable garden in front of the CC to create awareness among mothers about the need for nutritious food during pregnancy. With CSG's assistance, her future plan is to bring all the adolescent girls in her working proximity under the coverage of the CC for IFA consumption.

Nasima, like several others in Sunamganj, was supported by the Nutrition at the Centre Project, funded by Sall Family Foundation and implemented by CARE Bangladesh in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh.

The project adopted multi sectoral approach in which the CHCP and CSG work in collaboration with a range of public, private, NGO sector actors to tackle malnutrition.

The experience has contributed to the design of the next phase of the project- "Collective Impact for Nutrition" (CI4N) through which CARE Bangladesh aims to institutionalise multi-sectoral approach as a key strategy to sustainably tackle the challenges of malnutrition in Bangladesh.