Strengthening Maternal Nutrition within Antenatal Care in Ethiopia: Key findings from implementation research

03 Aug 22
Topic(s): Maternal Nutrition
Location: Ethiopia
Language(s): English
Audience: Health and service providers, Policy makers and legislators, Program designers and implementers
Organization: Alive & Thrive
Programs: Strategic use of data
Ethiopia MN results cover
Ethiopia MN results cover
Downloadable PDF(s)

There is wide recognition of the importance of integrating maternal nutrition interventions in antenatal care (ANC) to improve maternal and child health. In Ethiopia, despite the availability of national maternal nutrition guidelines and promising maternal nutrition interventions, key maternal nutrition indicators still lag. According to the Ethiopian Demographic Health Survey (EDHS 2016), 23.6% of women (15-49 years), 29.1% of pregnant women, and 28.6% of lactating women are anemic. Only 5.1% of women took 90+ iron-folic acid (IFA) tablets during pregnancy. There are interventions available to address maternal nutrition needs, but little is known about how well they are implemented in routine health services.

Alive & Thrive (A&T) provided technical assistance to the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) to strengthen the delivery and uptake of ANC services and immediate postnatal care (PNC) services while carrying out implementation research between 2019 and 2021 to better understand how to effectively integrate proven maternal nutrition interventions into Ethiopia’s existing package of maternal nutrition interventions (National Nutrition Program – NNPII). To strengthen the evidence base for maternal nutrition programs and policies, A&T developed and tested the integration of an intensive package of maternal nutrition interventions into existing ANC services delivered through government health facilities that will align with the latest global evidence and the NNPII.