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Editorial

We are delighted to share with you Issue 5 of Nutrition Exchange. In keeping with our aim to have the majority of NEX content written by national actors engaged in nutrition specific and sensitive activities, this issue features nine original articles from Kenya, Niger, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi and Namibia, as well as an article from an African nutrition network. This issue also includes summaries of nutrition related reviews, research, and news that we feel could be of interest to our readers.

The original articles cover a range of programmatic experiences and policy issues. Two articles from Zimbabwe and Namibia focus on some of the challenges associated with the treatment of acute malnutrition, particularly management, supervision and supply logistics. In Zimbabwe, a survey of providers and programme users highlight the need for improved pipeline for supplies, particularly in the rural treatment centres. In Namibia, learning from the national immunization programme is being applied to the management of acute malnutrition to strengthen programme management, training and information systems.

Four articles from Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi and Kenya focus on food security and agricultural projects with a nutrition focus. A project in refugee camps in Rwanda is described where kitchen garden, poultry and rabbit rearing support was provided to families with acutely malnourished children to help families diversify dietary intake and to generate additional income. An article from the perspective of the Scaling Up Nutrition Focal Point in Zambia advocates for further agriculture policy reform to diversify crop production to improve the population’s diets. In Malawi, a pilot school-feeding project is using solar powered irrigation to grow vegetables, corn and soya, to provide a potentially sustainable source of school meals and improve girl’s attendance. Positive pilot results suggest potential for wider replication. Finally, an innovative reality television show in Kenya, which works with rural farmers to improve productivity, income and dietary diversity, demonstrates the opportunities that different media offer for communicating with farmers in the region.

The articles from Niger and Kenya describe efforts to integrate nutrition into the activities of other sectors in order to address the underlying determinants of undernutrition. A capacity building initiative in Niger has brought together multiple sectors to develop nutrition problem and solution trees and has identified ways to incorporate nutrition into their planning. In Kenya, nutrition is being integrated into assessments of highly vulnerable communities to further the understanding of risks and use this information to design and implement nutrition resilience interventions.

The African Graduate’s Nutrition Student Network, a platform for networking, capacity building and development of nutrition ‘champions’ across the continent, is profiled in an article.

This issue also includes summaries of global developments including the Global Nutrition Report which tracks country level progress in improving nutrition. A newly launched financing facility called the Power of Nutrition aims to provide an additional US$ 1 billion to countries with a high burden of undernutrition.

Summaries of recent publications include a Lancet article that advocates for more to be done to address child mortality by viewing efforts to address child mortality as a continuum of care across reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health. A report on Adolescent Nutrition highlights the urgent need to address the nutrition needs of adolescent girls to break the cycle of inter-generational undernutrition. A study looking at child growth patterns reports that catch up growth is possible during infancy and in the years beyond. Another study looking at the same data sets assesses changes in child growth and the association with education and cognitive development and concludes that improvements in child growth, after early faltering, might have significant benefits on schooling and cognitive achievement. Additionally, two papers on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) highlight the importance of WASH in improving nutrition outcomes.

Finally, a number of Field articles previously featured in ENN’s Field Exchange are summarised. These include experience and results from a national survey in Mali to assess coverage for the treatment of acute malnutrition, which has resulted in actions to improve programme access. Experiences from Bangladesh and Kenya using a new method of nutrition causal analysis to inform programming are also featured along with an integrated programme to increase resilience in pastoral communities often faced with nutrition and livelihood crises. A food security and nutrition programme in Nepal that resulted in improved dietary diversity and nutrition knowledge is also summarized.

We would like to offer a warm thanks to all those who contributed articles for this issue. We strongly encourage those of you who have experiences and learning to share, to consider writing an article for our next issue. We particularly welcome articles from our Asia and Middle East readers.

The Nutrition Exchange Editorial team,

Carmel, Valerie and Chloe 

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Editors (). Editorial. Nutrition Exchange 5, May 2015. p3. www.ennonline.net/nex/5/editorial

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