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close this book Community Nutrition Action for Child Survival
close this folder Part I - Community nutrition problems and interventions
close this folder Unit 1 - The nutrition of women and children
View the document Session 1: What is malnutrition?
View the document Session 2: Focus on the nutrition of women and children
View the document Session 2: Focus on women and children
View the document Session 3: Important causes of malnutrition in women and children
View the document Session 4: Community nutrition action for child survival

Session 4: Community nutrition action for child survival


To introduce six community-appropriate nutrition and health interventions that can reduce malnutrition and improve child survival through growth monitoring, promotion of breastfeeding, improved weaning practices, oral rehydration therapy, immunization and family planning.

Time: 1/2 hour


- Handout - "Community Nutrition Action for Child Survival "

- Trainer's Reference - "Estimates of Child Survival through Intervention"

- Newsprint and marking pens

Note: This session can be used as an introduction to the following units in Part I of this module.


1. Introduction: In the previous sessions we discussed the many causes and effects of malnutrition in women and children. What can be done to improve nutrition and thus, the survival and quality of life for women and young children? There are probably as many ways to improve nutrition as there are causes of malnutrition. Some interventions are more expensive and more time consuming than others. Some require highly trained "experts." Many, however, can be carried out by community members and families if they are given only a little training and support.

What are these community nutrition interventions?

2. Distribute the Handout - "Community Nutrition Action for Child Survival." Review each of the six interventions with the trainees. These interventions and the roles that community members can play in their introduction will be covered in detail in the following units.

3. Use the UNICEF estimates of child lives that could be saved each year to demonstrate the dramatic effect that these simple interventions could have on child survival.






No. of Deaths
Per Year

Lives that
Could Be Saved

Community Interventions

Low birth weight

3 million

1 million

- Growth monitoring
- Maternal nutrition
- Breastfeeding
- Improved weaning
- Family planning

Immunizable diseases

3.3-5 million

3-4.5 million

- Immunization


5 million

2.5-3.5 million

- Oral rehydration therapy


13 million

9 million



Adapted from UNICEF. "A Child Survival and Development Revolution. "

Assignment Children. Geneva, 1983, p. 51.



American Public Health Association. Mothers and Children. Quarterly Newsletter, various editions.

Cameron, M. and Hofvander, Y. Manual on Feeding Infants and Young Children. Oxford University Press, 1983.

Center for Population and Family Health. Family Planning: Its Impact on the Health of Women and Children. Columbia University, 1981.

Hamilton S., Popkin, B. and Spicer, D. Women and Nutrition In Third World Countries. Praeger, New York, 1984.

Jelliffe, D.B. Child Nutrition in Developing Countries. U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, D.C., 1969.

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. "A Child Survival and Development Revolution." Assignment Children. Geneva, 1983.

World Council of Churches. Contact. "The Nutrition of Mothers and Children" 50. Christian Medical Commission, April 1979.

World Federation of Public Health Associations. Improving Maternal Health in Developing Countries. Washington, D.C., 1984.

___ . Maternal Nutrition. Washington, D.C., 1983.

___. Oral Rehydration Therapy. Washington, D.C., 1983.

World Health Organization. Guidelines for Training Community Health Workers in Nutrition. WHO Offset Publication No. 59. Geneva, 1981.

___. Towards a Better Future, Maternal Child Health. Geneva, 1980.