In Ethiopia, malnutrition now ranks among the top problems affecting the population in general, affecting children and women most critically. The 2016 Ethiopia Demographic Health Survey (EDHS) found that while declining, malnutrition was still exceedingly high amongst children under 5; specifically, 38% of children were suffering from chronic malnutrition (stunting), 10% were suffering from acute malnutrition (wasting), and 24% were underweight.
Infant and child mortality rates in Ethiopia remain high despite a steady decline over the past 15 years – infant and child (under 5) mortality stand at 48 and 67 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively (EDHS 2016). Additionally, the following key figures have changed little over the past decade in Ethiopia: only 57.5% exclusive breastfeeding of infants (0-5 months); 23% anemia prevalence among women of reproductive age (15-49 years); and just 7% of children with minimum acceptable diet.
What CARE is Doing:
The Growing Nutrition for Mothers and Children (GROW) project aims to improve the nutritional health of women of reproductive age and children under five. The project will focus on working with local health authorities and communities to strengthen governance and accountability of gender-equitable nutrition policies and programs. GROW is expected to contribute to the improved health of approximately 188,958 women, children and men directly, and over 825,218 individuals indirectly.
GROW is a 21.4 million CAD initiative to address undernutrition in women of reproductive age and children under five. GROW is a partnership between CARE, Cuso International, McGill University, the Government of Ethiopia (Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Women’s Affairs, and Mines, Water and Irrigation) and Global Affairs Canada. GROW is a 4+ year project operational from January 2016 – March 2020.
GROW will help achieve lasting change in the lives of beneficiaries by:
- Providing training to health care workers to deliver quality nutrition counselling and lifesaving treatment to those suffering from malnutrition.
- Providing equipment and supplies, such as height boards, mid-upper arm circumference measuring tapes, and weight scales to promote growth monitoring.
- Educating community members in nutritious eating habits, including cooking demonstrations with both women and men to encourage the use of new nutritious foods and to transform gender norms and inequalities within households.
- Supporting community backyard gardens by providing drought-resistant seeds and equipment, and educating communities on improved planting and fertilizing methods.
- Facilitating access to clean drinking water and hygiene facilities through construction or rehabilitation of water-points/wells, hand wash stations and latrines.
- Training community groups to assess, rehabilitate, monitor, maintain and repair wells and latrines.
- Creating or strengthening Village Savings and Loans Associations, enabling women to come together, pool savings to pay for health care or take loans to start a business.
- Facilitating dialogues between the community and service providers to identify and address service gaps that disproportionately affect women’s access to quality health services.
- Engaging men, traditional leaders, mothers-in-law and other key power holders in participatory activities, theatre for development, community dialogue, and other mobilization techniques.
- 188,958 women, children and men directly reached
- over 825,218 individuals indirectly reached