Health sector in GB to launch a nutrition specific PC1

GILGIT: Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) unit Planning & Development Department (P & DD) convened a meeting with health and other related departments and programs today at a local hotel, to get an insight into ongoing nutrition specific strategic activities as per sectoral commitment with development partners. This last of the series of sectoral meetings was chaired by Secretary P&DD, and participated by members of sectoral Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) of health including, Director of MNCH Program, Program Manager of LHW program, Focal Person of nutrition health, Program Manager of EPI & Director Population Welfare and Assistant Director Women Development.

Regarding intra-sectoral nutrition platform, focal person of nutrition in health department informed that it had been established and notified comprising of subsectors of health for development of designed initiatives as per inter-sectoral GB strategy. Secretary Planning & Development Mr. Babar Aman Babar said that as per commitment to development partners, nutrition cell at P & DD had been strengthened by establishment of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) unit for implementation of inter-sectoral nutrition strategy.

Secretary P & DD advised the focal person of nutrition to strengthen coordination/referral system among subsectors to ensure care and identification of missed cases of malnourished children and maintain a registry record of the same with all subsectors by June 2018. Midterm & end term evaluation of the same will conducted through next MICS survey GB.

Regarding enforcement of “Protection of Breast- Feeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance” Secretary P & DD advised focal person nutrition to work out feasibility of adaptation of federal document and necessary lobbying initiated during up coming sessions with parliamentarians through SUN.  On a query Program Manager MNCH Dr. Bismilah Khan said that IYCF component was already in place in the curriculum of nursing assistants’ training conducted at DHQ hospital Gilgit. Secretary P & DD advised focal person of nutrition to develop SOPs and questionnaires for KAP survey about IYCF by June 2018.

Director population welfare GB, Mr Ikram Ullah Baig identified the need for updating curriculum of field workers based upon nutrition initiatives through SUN technical input and same was assured by SUN Program Consultant through reviewing the ongoing current course already in place for each category of field staff. It was agreed in principle to train (ToTs) Health, Education & Nutrition Officers proposed in nutrition specific PC1 about Birth Preparedness and Critical Readiness (BPCR) about preconception counselling who will subsequently train the field health care providers i.e. LHWs, CMWs & FWWs, responsible for delivering messages about adolescent nutrition, anemia, healthy cooking & healthy dietary eating practices in the communities.

Mass nutrition awareness campaigns in outreach areas would be conducted through NGOs and religious notables in the area as projected in health sector PC1.

Focal person of nutrition informed the TWG that a stabilization center had already been established at DHQ hospital Gilgit through UNICEF and indigenous prepared diet recipes will developed locally.

Program Manager of EPI informed TWG that during polio immunization vitamin A was also administered as a routine activity. Secretary P & DD directed program consultant SUN to communicate with each nutrition sensitive & specific sectors to update about nutrition relevant activities included in their sectoral annual plans and amount allocated for the same as of today.  He further stressed to develop their own nutrition markers specific to nutrition sensitive plans based on the tools already shared.

Program consultant shared with the TWGs that a multi-sectoral progress review meeting will be convened in first week of December 2017 and steering committee meeting will be held in second week of December 2017 for endorsement of sectoral commitments.

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