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Better nutrition programming by focusing on maternal malnutrition

K Herschderfer, et al.

Good maternal nutrition is an important factor influencing newborn and child health and survival. While many nutritional programmes in the health sector incorporate interventions for (pregnant) women and girls, improved maternal nutritional status is often not the main focus. In current programming, the long-term, positive impact of improved maternal nutrition on health and productivity in the population is not always taken into consideration. Gender and empowerment issues as underlying causes of maternal malnutrition are also insufficiently addressed. Using existing
information and evidence, we demonstrate that maternal malnutrition can best be alleviated using a multi-sectoral approach (health, agriculture, finance) and a gender lens. This policy brief argues for making women central to programming in order to ensure sustainable change and improved health outcomes for women as well as their children.

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