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VSF-Suisse ist Teil der ersten „International Scientific Conference on Health (IGAD)“ vom 3. – 6. Dezember 2014 in Addis Abeba

VSF- Suisse, 01.12.2014

VSF-Suisse wird an der ersten International Scientific Conference on Health (IGAD) in Addis Abeba teilnehmen, welche diese Woche vom 3. – 6. Dezember stattfindet. Die  Konferenz mit dem Thema „Innovative approaches for equitable access to health services among pastoralist communities and cross border mobile populations“ thematisiert die wiederkehrenden Nahrungssicherheitsnotfälle, die durch die Dürren in Äthiopiens Regionalstaat Somali hervorgerufen werden.
VSF-Suisse wird mit seinem Projekt “Linking livestock Interventions to Community-based Nutrition: The Emergency Veterinary Support Program (EVSP) in Kebridehar and Shilabo Districts of Somali Region, Ethiopia” auftreten, finanziert durch UN-OCHA Humanitarian Response Fund. Dieses Projekt wird 86 Haushalte mit mangelernährten Kindern unter fünf mit frischer Milch versorgen, mit neun Ziegen und einer Reihe von Gutscheinen für tierärztliche Behandlungen.
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Linking Livestock Interventions to Community-Based Nutrition:
the Emergency Veterinary Support Program (EVSP)
in Kebridehar and Shilabo Districts of Somali Region, Ethiopia

 

Intervention: Financed by the UN-OCHA Humanitarian Response Fund and implemented by VSF-Suisse, this project availed fresh milk to 86 households with malnourished under-fives who had recently been discharged from therapeutic feeding centers: nine lactating goats and a package of vouchers for veterinary services were given to each household, the rationale being to provide the most relevant locally available and culturally appropriate nutrient-dense food in the form of lactating animals reinforced with veterinary support.

 

Results: Before the EVSP intervention, 33% of the target children measured a mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of <11cm. When re-measured four months after the initial assessment (in September 2013), this figure was 0%. The percentage of children with MUAC for age <-3 SD had also decreased from 57% to 12.5%. In addition there was a two-fold jump (from 20% to 41%) in the number of households having milk with their tea. The mean household dietary diversity score of the households increased from 4.4 to 5, and the number of food groups consumed in a day increased to 5 and 6 types, compared to 4 types at baseline.

 

Problem: Despite Ethiopia’s progress towards achieving the national nutrition targets of Millennium Development Goal 1, rural pastoralist communities in Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State are still regularly affected by drought-induced emergency nutrition situation. Hence, humanitarian actors are often involved in case management of malnourished children in the region. However, due to a diet completely devoid of animal-derived protein sources when back at home, children treated for acute malnutrition often slip back into their previous condition shortly after being discharged from therapeutic feeding centers.

 

Lessons learned: This programme has provided strong evidence to support the notion that repeat occurrences of acute malnutrition in under-fives can be quickly and efficiently addressed by drawing upon an appropriate, local relief resource: lactating livestock. Curative response activities of this kind can also be enmeshed with longer-term development measures to prevent trends of repeat malnutrition. For example, the integration of initiatives such as this one with behavioral-change communication at community level – such as reinforcing the necessity for continued breastfeeding despite the greater availability of animal milk at home – can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of both short-term emergency nutrition and longer-term feeding practices. 

 

Looking forward: Recognition, validation and standardization of the practices that link livestock with community-based nutrition (as demonstrated by this programme) will strengthen the case for replicating similar interventions in more pastoral areas of the IGAD region.

 

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