A healthy, balanced diet is essential to support children’s growth and development through each life stage. Children need access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that helps them grow healthily, concentrate at school, maintain a healthy weight and stay active and alert. However, in Mozambique more than two out of five children under five suffer from chronic undernutrition, which is the result of a combination of factors, including micronutrient deficiencies, frequent infections or disease, poor care and feeding practices and unsafe water and sanitation. It is estimated that around 45% of deaths among children under five in the country are linked to malnutrition.
It is against this backdrop that GAIN, in partnership with the Ministry of Health of the Government of Mozambique (MISAU), has launched a social behaviour change communications campaign called “Um Minuto Nutrição” (One Minute for Nutrition). The purpose of this campaign is to influence mothers and caregivers to adopt breastfeeding, optimal complementary feeding and healthy eating practices for young children.
To date, three television advertisements have been produced, which focus on the nutrition of newborn babies, infants and young children up to two years of age. The ads promote the same nutrition messages developed for the mNutrition project GAIN is currently implementing together with the GSMA foundation. The campaign, launched in December last year, will be running until June 2017 on national TV channels and is being amplified through radio and social media.
The first campaign message focuses on the nutrition of newborn babies and on the importance of colostrum: “Mother, the first milk that comes out after your baby is born is called colostrum. This particular milk is not dirty; if you are told not to give it, do not consent! This milk has a yellowish color because it brings the mother’s protection against diseases to the newborn baby and is very important for the baby’s health. Colostrum also helps clean the baby’s body, helping him pass his early stools. Right after his birth, always breastfeed your baby to stimulate the exit of colostrum and the production of mature milk”.
Katia Do Santos Dias, GAIN’s Country Director for Mozambique says: “This project will contribute to change behaviours and influence caregivers to adopt optimal nutrition practices to ensure that infant and young children will achieve their full potential. GAIN has been supporting the Ministry of Health since 2013. With the development of the national nutrition strategy and the implementation of this innovative campaign, we will reach a larger number of women at the national level with essential nutrition messaging for the health of their children.”
Published on 30 January 2017