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Maternal and Child Nutrition in Nicaragua

Though some gains have been made toward better nutrition for children under two years of age (IFPRI, 2010), malnutrition continues to affect the health and well-being of the poor in Nicaragua, the second poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Underlying causes such as access to food (food security), health and maternal care practices at the household level have an important role in child nutrition.

According to the World Food Program, the incidence of poverty is highest among rural populations, where 46 percent live in poverty and 15.1 percent live in extreme poverty. The median income of the poor covers only 24 percent of the cost of the basic food basket.

How Window of Opportunity is helping:

Window of Opportunity in Nicaragua, known as Ventana de Oportunidad, takes place in the  rural districts of Jinotega and Matagalpa. Launched in 2008, Ventana  implements tailored activities based on proven nutrition interventions including mother-to-mother support groups and individual counseling, and uses entertainment-education (via soap operas broadcast on national radio) as a means to tackle the tangled psychological conflicts, cultural values and socio-economic realities that determine infant and young child feeding and related maternal nutrition practices and personal choices.

               Nutritional Status for Children in Nicaragua  

National data, DHS, 2007, < 5 years                       Window baseline*, 2009, < 2 years

Underweight 5.5 %                                                        Underweight 7.5 %

Stunting 21.7 %                                                               Stunting 19.8 %

Wasting 1.4 %                                                                     Wasting 2.3 %

According to DHS information                                * Collected using WHO indicators 

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