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close this bookSCN News, Number 11 - Maternal and Child Nutrition (ACC/SCN, 1994, 76 p.)
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New Titles

In this section we include selected publishers’ announcements of new publications; these are not independent reviews, but are included to draw attention to new relevant material

“Community Nutrition for Eastern Africa”

(1993) by Ann Burgess and others. African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF). 286 pages.

This book was written in response to requests for a short up-to-date low-cost nutrition manual. It is a practical book that identifies the tasks that health and other workers need to carry out in order to improve food security and nutrition at community level. It deals mainly with what community workers can do to help families and communities to assess, analyse and tackle their nutrition problems.

Good nutrition is essential for people to be active, healthy and able to fight infection. The aim of this book is to give information and ideas to community-based workers whose tasks include improving the food supplies and nutrition of families and communities. It is for health care workers, home economics and agricultural field workers, teachers, and community development and social workers. It will also be useful to the trainers and supervisors of these community workers, to students studying nutrition and to people producing nutrition education materials.


Part 1: Preparing to work with families and communities

1. The nutrition situation in eastern Africa
2. Recognizing and understanding nutrition disorders
3. Understanding the causes of nutrition disorders
4. Learning about a community

Part 2: Helping families to be well nourished

5. Working with communities
6. Improving food production
7. Buying more and better food
8. Planning families to match food and other resources
9. Planning, preparing and sharing good meals
10. Helping women and newborn babies to be well nourished
11. Encouraging breastfeeding
12. Feeding young children during and after weaning
13. Feeding other family members
14. Preventing and controlling disease

Part 3: Working with health care and other services to improve nutrition

15. Growth monitoring and promotion
16. Feeding programmes
17. Programmes to control vitamin A and iodine deficiencies
18. Dietary and supporting care of marasmus, kwashiorkor and anaemia


1. Food and nutrients
2. The important nutrients
3. Energy and nutrient needs
4. Sources and costs of nutrients
5. Collecting and using body measurements
6. Where to get more information


This book is available from: In Uganda: AMREF, PO Box 51, Entebbe, Uganda; in Tanzania: AMREF, PO Box 2773, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; in South Africa: Trade Winds Press (Ply Ltd), PO Box 20194, Durban North 4016, South Africa; in USA: Boyd Printing Company, 49 Sheridan Avenue, Albany, NY 12210, USA; in UK: TALC, PO Box 49, St Albans, Herts AL1 4AX, UK; and in Kenya: Book Distribution Unit, AMREF, PO Box 30125, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: 500950 Fax: 506112.

(Source: AMREF Kenya New Book Announcement, November 1993).

“NGOs, Participation and Rural Development: Testing the Assumptions with Evidence from Zimbabwe”

(1994) by Jessica Vivian and Gladys Maseko. Discussion Paper from UNRISD.

In recent years, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have gained a higher profile in development recommendations and policy initiatives, as well as an increased share of development funding. In part, the rise of the development NGO sector is a result of a growing consensus that “participation” is necessary for development, and the belief that NGOs are best able to implement grassroots, participatory development strategies. This paper explores factors affecting the outcome of NGOs’ development strategies, focusing on NGOs operating at the local level. Research for the study was conducted in Zimbabwe, and, while some of the findings are context-specific, many of them will be much more widely relevant.

The study indicates that the individual organizations which comprise the development NGO sector make up a wide spectrum of organizational types, with a similarly wide range of project strategies and outcomes. Some NGOs are truly creative, independent and committed to the egalitarian and participatory ideals upon which they were founded. At the opposite extreme, others act essentially as members of a service industry, developing and carrying out their activities in response to requests from donors. The authors argue that it is the latter type of NGO - that which acts as part of a service industry - which is most likely to appear as a result of the current interest in NGOs as agents of development.

The authors analyse some of the reasons that rural development NGOs find it difficult to accomplish all that is expected of them. Among other questions, they discuss the logistical implications of truly participatory initiatives, the institutional constraints involved in reaching the poor, the complexity of the question of how to benefit rural women, the difficulty of going beyond the project approach, and the ambiguity of the concept of NGOs representing the “grassroots”.

The paper constitutes a critique, not of the NGO approach, but of the overwhelming expectations placed upon the NGO sector, especially in recent years. It suggests that the notable successes of some NGOs cannot readily be translated into lessons for the entire NGO community.

This discussion paper can be obtained from: UNRISD, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland. Tel: (41 22) 798 8400 Fax: (41 22) 740 0791.

(Source: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) Press Release, April 1994)

“Social Marketing of Vitamin A Rich Foods in Thailand: A Model Nutrition Communication for Behavior Change Process”

(1993) by Suttilak Smitasiri, George A. Attig, Aree Valyasevi, Sakorn Dhanamitta and Kraisid Tontisirin. Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University.

A nutrition communication-based study to combat vitamin A deficiency, one which makes use of social marketing techniques to promote the consumption of such foods, has been thought - but not often proven - to hold great promise for developing countries pursuing vitamin A deficiency reduction programs. To provide a proving ground for this theory, USAID sponsored the three-year Social Marketing of Vitamin A-Rich Foods Project from 1988-1991. This book sets out the project’s progressive six stage process and highlights valuable lessons learned over the course of this successful program, one which entailed significantly improved knowledge, attitudes and practices in consuming vitamin A-rich foods; substantial improvement in vitamin A and nutritional status of the target population; and a high potential sustainability of project interventions. It also documents the pre-preproject development process including the importance of preliminary and formative research studies and advocacy in launching such intervention programs. While the emphasis is on vitamin A deficiency, the same process and lessons can be equally applied to other single micronutrient programs or ones aimed at addressing multiple micronutrients.

The publication is available from: Ms Paiwan Tantivatanasathain, Division of Communication and Behavioral Science, Institute of Nutrition Mahidol University, Salaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand. Tel: (662)441 9035-9 Fax: (662) 441 9344. The publication itself is free of charge; a charge of US$8 is made to cover postage and handling per copy.

(Source: INMU Communication, 10 February 1994).

“Rapid Assessment Procedures to Improve the Household Management of Diarrhea”

by Elizabeth Herman and Margaret Bentley. International Nutrition Foundation, Boston, MA. 86 pages.

This manual guides the reader to rapidly collect, analyze, and use the information about the cultural context of diarrhoea. Its purpose is to identify household and behavioural factors that are characteristic of the local culture and facilitate the development, implementation and monitoring of programs for the control and prevention of diarrhoea. Rapid assessment procedures (RAP) are used to determine people’s beliefs about how the body works, the causes and consequences of illness and other factors that influence the household response to diarrhoea. Separate sections present the RAP methods; information for diarrhoea case management; a field guide for conducting a study; and options for applying the study results.

The manual may be ordered from: The International Nutrition Foundation, Charles St. Sta., PO Box 500, Boston, MA 021 14-0500, USA. Tel: (617) 227-8747 Fax: (617) 227-9405. Industrialized country citizens US$10.00 plus $2.00 postage and handling (add $0.50 each additional copy). Developing country citizens: US$5.00 plus $3.00 postage and handling (surface) per book, $4.00 air.

(Source: INFDC, 1994)

“The Children of Santa Maria Cauque. A Prospective Field Study of Health and Growth”

by Leonardo J Mata. MIT Press, Cambridge MA. 395 pages.

A limited number of copies of this book are available at a reduced price through the International Nutrition Foundation for Developing Countries, Charles St. Sta., PO Box 500, Boston, MA 02114-0500. Tel: (617) 227 8747 Fax: (617) 227 9405. List price $37.50. Price if ordered through above address: S20.00 plus $6.00 postage and handling (surface).

(Source: INFDC, 1994)

“SOS for a Billion - the Conquest of Iodine Deficiency Disorders”

A new ICCIDD book “SOS for a Billion - the Conquest of Iodine Deficiency Disorders’ edited by Hetzel and Pandav was launched at the recent Regional Meeting in Quito, Ecuador, by Mr James Grant, Executive Director, UNICEF.

This book records the coordinated global strategy against iodine deficiency which has been identified as the most common preventable cause of mental defect in the world today.

The book charts the success f this programme in the last five years through the global partnership or people and governments from many affected countries, key international agencies like the WHO, UNICEF, International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD), Kiwanis International and the Salt Industry at national and international levels.

It also describes the national programmes and strategies being implemented with special reference to the use of iodised salt, and country-level progress with successful case-studies in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The concluding part describes the monitoring and verification processes required to ensure that this scourge can be totally eliminated by the year 2000.

The book has many illustrations and provides an up to date account of the remarkable progress towards the World Summit Goal of “Virtual Elimination of IDD by the year 2000.”

For information contact: ICCIDD, c/o Health Development Foundation, 8th Floor, Samuel Way Building, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, 72 King William Road, North Adelaide, 5006, Australia. Fax: 61 8 204 7221.

(Source: ICCIDD Communication, 31 May 1994)

“Vitamin A and Breastfeeding: A Comparison of Data from Developed and Developing Countries”

(1994). Wellstart International. 112 pages.

Vitamin A deficiency is rare among breastfed infants, even in regions where vitamin A deficiency is endemic. Through its work in the promotion of optimal breastfeeding practices, Wellstart International is in a unique position to act as a bridge between the community of professionals working to promote breastfeeding and those working to prevent vitamin A deficiency.

With support from the US Agency for International Development, Office of Nutrition, Wellstart International has published “Vitamin A and Breastfeeding: A Comparison of Data from Developed and Developing Countries”. The vitamin A status of lactating women, the effect of maternal vitamin A status on the vitamin A content of human milk, and the adequacy of breast milk as a source of vitamin A have been summarized in this report, as well as the impact of maternal vitamin A supplementation on the vitamin A content of human milk, and on the health of breastfeeding women and their infants.

Assuming nutritional deprivation to be more likely in countries with higher child mortality levels, data from countries with under 5 child mortality levels of 21 or greater (developing) are compared to data from countries with under 5 child mortality levels of 20 or less (developed). All reports of vitamin A activity were translated into retinol equivalents (RE) to allow comparison among studies. Reported values for vitamin A in human milk were divided by the time after delivery during which the samples were obtained (1-6, 7-13, or 14-21 days; 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-12, 13-24, or more than 24 months). The studies were further divided by whether the birth was term or preterm (defined as less than 37 weeks gestation).

A 5-page summary of the report has been sent to all Wellstart Associates, and information from the document has been integrated into Wellstart’s Lactation Management Education (LME) curriculum. Wellstart Associates are encouraged to collaborate with vitamin A deficiency prevention programs in building in-country expertise to establish and sustain optimal infant feeding practices. In this and other related ways, Wellstart International is functioning as a liaison and conduit of information between the vitamin A and breastfeeding communities. Health professionals working in vitamin A deficiency prevention programs who are interested in collaborating with Wellstart Associates are encouraged to write to Wellstart International Corporate Headquarters at the address below for information on Wellstart Associates working in their country or region.

A limited number of copies of the full 112-page report are available in English and Spanish. Requests from developing countries should be sent to the APHA Clearinghouse on Infant Feeding and Maternal Nutrition, 1015 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA, (202) 789-5600, (202) 789-5661 (FAX). Requests from developed countries should be sent to Wellstart International, Corporate Headquarters, 4062 First Avenue, San Diego CA92103, USA, (619)295-5192, (619)294-7787 (FAX). Please include a money order for US$10. Abbreviated 5-page summaries are also available without charge in English, Spanish, French and Russian.

(Source: Vicky Newman, M.S., R.D., Wellstart International)

World Bank - Population, Health & Nutrition Department, New Publication to be Released in Autumn 1994

Anne Tinker and several others are in the process of finalizing the document entitled “Women’s Health and Nutrition: Making a Difference”. It will be available to the public by Autumn 1994, and presents a comprehensive discussion of the issues surrounding women’s health and nutritional status, with operationally-based recommendations for addressing the problems unique to women and girl children.

(Source and contact for further information: Leslie Elder, Population, Health & Nutrition Department, The World Bank, 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., USA)