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Maternal & child nutrition: the Sri Lankan perspective
Authors: Silva Ad, Mahamithawa AM, Piyasena C.
Source: Indian Journal of Medical Research, 130(5):609-11
Topic(s): Child health
Maternal health
Country: Asia
Published: NOV 2009
Abstract: Most improvements gained during the past two decades in maternal and child nutrition can be attributed to the successful, countrywide maternal and child health programme of the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka. Other supporting programmes to combat deficiencies of individual micronutrients have also contributed significantly. As the latest Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data have shown regional disparities in nutrition status, it indicates that more effort is needed to improve nutrition status of marginalized populations. A National Nutrition Policy and strategic plan of Sri Lanka is being formulated and new evidence based nutrition strategies are being promoted or planned in keeping with national policies on nutrition. More emphasis is being placed on inter-sectoral co-operation, essential for poverty alleviation and food security which would improve nutrition status of marginalized groups. A newly established nutrition surveillance system is an example where inter-sectoral co-operation has been successful. Feedback data from surveillance will be used to monitor and evaluate the progress of nutrition interventions. With the greater emphasis on poverty alleviation and food production, sensitization of non health sectors and better strategic interventions for nutritionally vulnerable populations, Sri Lanka is hopeful of achieving further improvements in nutritional status of its population.