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Kyrgyzstan|life|September 27, 2023 / 10:51 AM
U.S.-supported nutrition project benefits nearly 20,000 pregnant mothers and above 36,000 children in Kyrgyzstan

AKIPRESS.COM - Over the course of four years, the U.S. government – through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Advancing Nutrition project – worked with Kyrgyzstani communities to greatly improve the nutrition among reproductive-age women and children under five. At a closing event attended by representatives from the U.S. government, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, public health organizations, as well as local and international partners, the project coordinators shared results and lessons learned.

In partnership with the Ministry of Health, the $4.6 million USAID Advancing Nutrition improved quality of nutrition services in the health system and nutrition-related behaviors in Batken, Jalal-Abad, and Issyk-Kul oblasts, as well as in Bishkek. From 2019-2023, the project helped to:

• Increase exclusive breastfeeding among children under six months by 22%, while decreasing consumption of sugary or processed foods of children aged 0–5 months by 9% as well as children aged 6–23 months by 12%, improving health of children and increasing disease resistance.

• Improve the skills of health workers in Batken and Jalal-Abad oblasts to counsel families on good nutrition for infants and young children reducing anemia by 20 percent.

• Train approximately 5,000 community activists and 2,900 health workers on nutrition, anemia, hygiene, responsive care and early learning, benefiting more than 42,000 households and reaching approximately 24,000 children under two years old in Batken, Jalal-Abad, and Issyk-Kul regions.

• Train health workers on the “baby-friendly hospital” initiative, which ensures mothers and newborns receive timely and appropriate care to establish optimal feeding. Health workers than provided more than 131,000 related consultations, impacting over 36,000 children under two years old and 19,900 pregnant women.

Deputy Minister of Health Arykbayeva Bubuzhan Kamchybekovna said, “USAID's Advancing Nutrition project provided significant technical assistance to the Ministry of Health during these years. It created an environment for improving the quality of health services and successfully achieved the goal of improving the nutrition and health of children and women in the country.”

“The Advancing Nutrition project shifted the nutrition paradigm within the communities it engaged, using evidence-based concepts to ensure the Kyrgyz population is well nourished and resilient,” said Kaya Adams, USAID/Kyrgyz Republic Mission Director. “Healthy children lead to a healthy future for all Kyrgyz communities.”

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