Venezuela‘s economy contracted by 48% between 2013 to 2018 which significantly reduced people‘s purchasing power for essential items including food. The economic crisis led to more infant formula feeding than optimal breastfeeding, a practice that later grew due to donations from abroad without following international standards. However, the nutrition emergency response intervened and provided support through nutrition screening for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and treatment through Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) which includes micronutrient supplementation and deworming. The support was provided by UNICEF, NGOs, and government staff.
However, due to the economic crisis, most medical personnel left the country creating a huge human resource deficit and a burden to the nutrition response they provided. This required continuous capacity building for new staff, as such Tech RRT support was requested to prove support for new staff working to in nutrition.
IYCF Stakeholders contact list established
Capacity mapping of key staff conducted
Facilitated an IYCF-E program and policy mapping exercise. Scoring tool for National level
IYCF TWG setted up and ToR developped
5 days IYCF-E training materials translated, reviewed and adapted to the context
Webinars on key aspects of IYCF-E programming
conducted IYCF Action Plan
Covid-19 & IYCF-E (nutrition) recommendations
Due to the economic sanctions, Venezuela's health system was deteriorating. Many staffs left because of poor salaries, the primary health system was disrupted and there was a shortage of drugs. Pregnant and lactating women were more vulnerable to malnutrition, especially adolescent and indigenous women. The National Insitute of Malnutrition data indicated that more than 130,000 women were underweight and more than 300,000 anemic. Access to food, WASH, nutrition feeding practices and access to information were major determinants of malnutrition for women and children under 5. Venezuela lacked standardised criteria for the treatment and management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) such as referral criteria and prioritization of SAM cases with medical complications. Given the lack of national protocol for the management of acute malnutrition, the GNC Technical Support was requested to facilitate the collaborative development of a standardized nutrition response.
Support from the GNC Alliance will enable the Venezuela Nutrition Cluster to establish a Technical Working Group that collectively adapts international protocols for the management of acute malnutrition with local needs. The CMAM Adviser was responsible for strengthening the delivery of the CMAM response through the provision of senior leadership and technical support.
Established the CMAM Technical Working Group
Facilitated meeting with the National Institute of Malnutrition
Reviewed the Terms of Reference for CMAM Technical Working Group
Conducted stakeholder interviews.