The Public Nutrition Department (PND) was established in 2003, with the support of UNICEF and through technical assistant from Tufts University, to address the major concerns of public health nutrition. According to the Public Nutrition Policy & Strategy, 2009-2013, the goal of the Public Nutrition Department is to reduce nutrition related mortality amongst mothers and children by protecting and promoting healthy nutrition for all Afghans, and by preventing chronic malnutrition and associated micronutrient deficiency disorders. To achieve this goal, the department has the operational objective of increasing access to and utilization of quality preventive and curative nutrition services provided at community level and through health facilities.
Afghanistan is one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition among children GAM national Average is 9.5%, from 9.5% 4 % is sever acute malnutrition and 5.5% is moderate acute malnutrition
Global underweight national Average is 25%, Global stunting at national level is 40.9% .from 40.9%, 20.9% is sever stunting and 20% is moderate stunting at national level which are close related with IYCF services in first 1000days of live.
The NSS show Initiation of breastfeeding within one hour after birth 69.4%, Exclusive breastfeeding, in children
The World Bank supports BPHS and EPHS in 21 provinces and strengthens the stewardship role of the MoPH, through SEHAT Project. In terms of nutrition, it supports the salary of three staff members in the department through SEHAT project, and is committed to supporting the nutrition components of the BPHS. Nutrition is also part of the second component of SEHAT project, under the health promotion thematic area. The World Bank support PND to develop a video (15 minutes) and TV spots (30 seconds) to visualize stunting for families, as well as for advocacy purposes. In SEHAT 2, the funding of BPHS will be channeled to the remaining 13 provinces, currently funded by USAID, and Nutrition component is one of the important services that NGOs are expected to deliver.
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Public awareness on nutrition is delivered and is part of PND’s routine activities. TV spots, radio spots, billboards, posters and brochures are developed and broadcasted to the public, mainly on IYCF and micronutrients. These activities are financed through UNICEF, Micronutrient Initiative, Save the Children, WHO, and are part of SEHAT program (support forthcoming). The Health Promotion Department of MOPH are the implementers, and PND provides technical support. Sensitization on stunting is another ongoing effort for enhancing public knowledge on stunting and increasing demand for nutrition prevention services.