In March 2020, the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS) announced the COVID-19 global pandemic to the general public. Following the announcement essential nutrition services normally provided by basic health staff and local Government health centers were reduced because the MOHS prioritized COVID-19 prevention, containment, and response activities. However, maintaining good nutrition protects people from illness was essential for their increased immunity, including during COVID-19. In this context, nutrition sector partners played a critical role in providing a minimum package of essential nutrition services during the pandemic to support the Government's overall response against COVID-19. To effectively provide nutrition support to vulnerable populations, partners required capacity building in the adapted program guidance package that has nutrition interventions like Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) promotion and support and management of acute malnutrition. UNICEF with the Myanmar government and nutrition partners provided online orientation; however, technical capacity was needed to further support and transform this nutrition program guidance.
The Tech RRT was requested to provide remote technical support to the UNICEF Myanmar nutrition team and Nutrition sector partners in developing virtual training tools and digital materials for the COVID-19 sector response.
UNICEF Myanmar/ Nutrition Sector
On 1 February 2021, following dissatisfaction with the 2020 November election results, the Myanmar military carried out a takeover of power and declared a state of emergency. The political crisis coupled with the effects of COVID-19 plunged the country into situations of humanitarian need. Unfortunately, there was no survey since the last Demographic Health Survey (DHS) conducted in 2016 to assess the nutrition situation, subsequently, there was no concrete information to reflect the nutrition status of Myanmar impacted by the political crisis and COVID-19. To improve nutrition data availability and quality the Myanmar Nutrition sector established an Assessment and Information Management Technical Working Group (AIM TWG). The AIM TWG required technical capacity in nutrition needs assessment methodologies and information management.
The GNC Technical Alliance was requested to provide remote support, including capacity strengthening, to Myanmar Assessment and Information Management (AIM) Technical Working Group (TWG) to strengthen its ability to provide high-quality nutrition data.