Participants in the SPRING/Bangladesh visit

USAID Delegation Visits a SPRING/Bangladesh Farmer Nutrition School and a Community Clinic

Ms. Melissa Jones, director of the Office of Population, Health, Nutrition, and Education at USAID Bangladesh, and other representatives from the Mission visited a community clinic in Abhaynagar upazila on Thursday, February 25.

They observed nutrition counseling activities at the clinic, and had the opportunity to meet a community nutrition champion (CNC) who graduated from SPRING/Bangladesh’s Farmer Nutrition School (FNS) in 2013. Community Nutrition Champions are graduates of the FNS who are elected to voluntarily spread messages about nutrition and hygiene in their communities. They help build a stronger link between the community and the health system. SPRING has been supporting the Government of Bangladesh by building the capacity of frontline health workers and ensuring that quality nutrition messages are delivered through multiple government channels through regular visits, refresher trainings, coordination, and joint supportive supervision with government supervisors.

The delegation also visited a SPRING-led FNS and witnessed the practices of essential nutrition actions (ENA) and essential hygiene actions (EHA) in the community. They spoke to the beneficiaries and learned about their experiences participating in the SPRING FNS. They observed a session on complementary feeding practices, where FNS members discussed the importance of complementary feeding from the age of six months.

SPRING/Bangladesh works closely with the National Nutrition Services and the Community Clinics group and is aligned with the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, as well as the Government of Bangladesh and USAID strategies for improving nutrition. SPRING/Bangladesh is supporting nearly 1,400 community clinics and more than 300 union health and family welfare centers across its working area.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the five-year SPRING project improves the nutritional status of pregnant women and children under two through a variety of behavior change communication activities, using a multi-channel platform, working to support the Government of Bangladesh at all levels and to directly work with communities through nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions. SPRING works in 40 sub-districts across Bangladesh and will make over 4.5 million contacts with pregnant and lactating women during the life of the project.