The Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health in Africa and Asia (ENRICH) is a multi-year, multi-country program funded by Global Affairs Canada that aims to improve the health and nutrition status of mothers, newborns and children in select regions of Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tanzania. ENRICH is implemented by World Vision Canada (WVC) and The Micronutrient Initiative, with WVC as the consortium lead. This consortium works closely with other Canadian and international partners including HarvestPlus, the Canadian Society for International Health, the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Hospital for Sick Children.
The overall goal of ENRICH is to contribute to reduction of maternal and child mortality in the five countries by addressing issues critical to the health of mothers, newborns and young children. The program seeks to achieve this goal through strengthening of health systems with an emphasis on community systems, improving nutrition of pregnant women, infants and young children during the first 1,000 days from conception to 24 months of age, and ensuring accountability of results at all levels. ENRICH takes a comprehensive approach to improve delivery of essential nutrition services:
THE ENRICH PROJECT WILL
- Increase the availability and diversity of nutrient-dense foods, through biofortified crops, kitchen gardens, and micronutrient powders added to foods;
- Promote consumption of local, culturally-appropriate foods;
- Help communities overcome cultural barriers that undermine access to healthy food for women and young children;
- Teach families ways to keep women and young children well nourished, especially during the 1,000 days between conception and two years of age;
- Train local health officials/staff to better understand the problems of malnutrition;
- Improve how health clinics deliver nutrition services such as counselling on breastfeeding and treatment of malnutrition;
- Influence local governments to improve health and nutrition policies.
- Provide local women with mentorship opportunities with leading female Canadian experts/advocates.
- Strengthen governance, policy and public engagement of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Canada and target countries.
- Almost half of all global deaths in children under the age of five have malnutrition as an underlying cause
- Almost three million children die every year from causes related to malnutrition
- More than 160 million young children are stunted (short for their age) due to malnutrition
- A child who gets enough healthy food before turning two finishes at least four more grades of school and is 33% more likely to escape poverty as an adult.