HEALTH AND NUTRITION PROGRAM
As the world’s demand for food increases against a background of population growth, conflict, migration and climate change, it is more important than ever to focus on innovative and sustainable ways of achieving food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable. Given that 500 million small farms worldwide, most of them still rain fed, provide up to 80% of food consumed in a large part of the developing world, investing in smallholder farmers and fishers is an important way to increase food and nutrition security for the poorest, as well as providing food for local and global markets. Food security is one of the key underlying determinants of good nutrition, focused primarily on the availability of food, the economic and physical access to food, and the stability of food supply. Nutrition security results not just from having an adequate quality, quantity and diversity of safe foods, but from a host of intertwined factors such as access to safe water, health services, care and hygiene practices, and having women playing a key role in decision-making at community level.
Proper nutrition is a powerful good; people who are well nourished are more likely to be healthy, productive, and able to learn. Good nutrition benefits families, their communities and the world as a whole. Malnutrition is, by the same logic, devastating. Good nutrition is the bedrock of child survival, health and development. Well-nourished children are better able to grow and learn, to participate in and contribute to their communities, and to be resilient in the face of disease, disasters, and other global crises.
For rural communities, health and nutrition are intricately linked with farming, food production, income generation, and culture and community life. Through our program, we support local capacities for drawing up policies and plans for fighting malnutrition; basic maternal, newborn and child healthcare; communicable disease prevention and control; adolescent sexual and reproductive health; family planning; detection and treatment of acute malnutrition; and breastfeeding promotion.
Health & Nutrition
Uganda Muslim Rural Development Association (UMURDA) works closely with schools and their communities to ensure proper sanitation through building latrines and appropriate hand washing facilities and providing access to safe drinking water. Most importantly, through education, Target communities learn how to adapt their daily habits to improve their health, nutrition, hygiene and prevent HIV and AIDS, gaining these important skills and behaviors for life.
How To Achieve the program’s objectives
In our target areas and communities, UMURDA will strengthen the capacity of health, nutrition and WASH systems to deliver quality and accessible services. UMURDA focuses on three ‘R’s: that people are Responsible for their own health; that health, nutrition and WASH systems are Responsive to people’s needs; and that there are strong Relationships between service-providers and communities.
UMURDA programmes aim to incorporate; i) Demand; where resilient communities, have positive care-seeking behaviours and are empowered to advocate for the appropriate services that meet their needs, ii) Supply; where the formal and informal services provided to vulnerable communities are appropriate, timely and effective, and iii) Accountability; where mutual trust between service-providers and the community is fostered so that the services provided respond effectively to community needs.
UMURDA uses three key processes to achieve the objectives through:
Systems Strengthening – UMURDA with support from government ministries, agencies and other non-governmental organisations where relevant, in the development of leadership, technical and management capacity, in the design of system interventions to improve delivery of integrated, accessible curative and preventative health and nutrition services, and in providing increased access to safe water and improved sanitation. UMURDA also strengthens accountability and responsiveness among communities, businesses and partners for improved program service management.
Social and Behavioural Change (SBC)
Social and Behavioural Change (SBC) – to address cultural, attitudinal and structural barriers that impede the ability of individuals, families and communities to care for their own well-being. We uses SBC approaches such as Nutrition Impact and Positive Practice (NIPP), Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Community Dialogues, Care Groups, and Community-led Action (CLA), to engage with communities and unleash their capacity to identify, understand and address the challenges they face.
Advocacy and Accountability
Advocacy and Accountability – to build strong relationships within systems to strengthen policy and governance mechanisms so that services respond effectively to community needs and that communities can initiate changes within their control, hold duty-bearers accountable for service quality and advocate for improvements in services at higher levels of government, all of which support the stimulation of increased demand.
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