SPRING Expands Partnership with Government of Bangladesh to Improve Nutrition
On June 18, 2013, SPRING signed an updated memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) in Bangladesh to achieve the mutual goal of improving the nutritional status of Bangladeshi women and children. This MOU extends the current collaboration to September 2015 and increases the collaboration’s geographic coverage from 15 to 40 upazilas in 9 districts in Barisal and Khulna divisions. The MOU outlines the key responsibilities of SPRING/Bangladesh, Bangladesh’s National Nutrition Services (NNS), and the Revitalization of Community Health Care Initiatives in Bangladesh (RCHCIB) in nutrition counseling training, nutrition activity monitoring, and maximizing coordination.
RCHCIB, NNS and SPRING currently collaborate to increase capacity for over 5,300 key MOHFW personnel on nutrition and hygiene counseling. These MOHFW staff have counseled over 119,000 pregnant and lactating mothers and caregivers of children under age two. SPRING has also supported over 29,000 of the poorest households in target upazilas to establish home gardens with nutrient-dense vegetables and to rear poultry for consumption and livelihood.
Bangladesh has one of the highest undernutrition rates in the world, and it is uncertain if its current progress will achieve Goal One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). SPRING/Bangladesh works with NNS, RCHCIB and other partners across health and agriculture sectors to improve nutritional status of pregnant women and children in order to decrease the prevalence of stunting among children.
Dr. Makhduma Nargis, Additional Secretary and Project Director of RCHCIB, Prof. Dr. Md. Ekhlasur Rahman, Director of the Institute of Public Health and Nutrition and Line Director of NNS, and Elizabeth Isimhen Williams, Country Manager of SPRING/Bangladesh, signed the MOU at the RCHCIB office in Mohakhali, Dhaka.