The need

Malnutrition rates are high in IGNIT3 target countries.

In Malawi, Ghana and Pakistan, women, adolescent girls, and children are disproportionately impacted by malnutrition due to a range of biological and socio-cultural factors including poverty, gender inequality and community norms.

All three target countries rank low on both United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index and Gender Inequality Index. Stunting prevalence among children under five ranges from 18 to 37% in all three target countries. Additionally, 46% of girls in Malawi, 20% in Ghana and 18% in Pakistan are married before the age of 18. None of the three countries are on track to meet the World Health Assembly’s global nutrition target for 2025 on reducing anaemia among women of reproductive age, while only Ghana is on track to meet the target for reducing stunting among children under five, and only Pakistan is on track to meet the exclusive breastfeeding target.

COVID-19 highlighted the critical role of health workers in ensuring access to quality and dignified care, but also the vulnerabilities in broader systems, which include:

  • Limited supportive mentorship for health workers
  • Inadequate WASH infrastructures
  • Limited local capacity to plan, budget and implement interventions targeting marginalized populations

Our solution

Addressing the immediate causes and social determinants of malnutrition.

Multiple Micronutrient Supplements

Multiple Micronutrient Supplements

IGNIT3 is a capacity building project that aims to understand the unique and gendered barriers to achieving improved health and nutrition, provide training and strategy development to health workers to ensure that health, nutrition and WASH knowledge and skills are readily available and accessible to patients, and generate evidence to better understand how integrating these interventions can result in better outcomes for marginalized and hard-to-reach communities.

Nutrition International’s contribution to this project will include leveraging our technical, program and research expertise to:

  • Provide technical leadership and oversight within the overall project to ensure gender considerations are applied across project activities
  • Provide an integrated youth responsive antenatal care package, including nutrition and WASH counselling, and multiple micronutrient supplementation for pregnant adolescents in Pakistan
  • Identify children under five with the greatest need in Malawi and reach them with an integrated package of child survival services

We will also work closely with national governments to provide guidance and support on how to effectively and sustainably reach the target beneficiaries with appropriate care and messaging and promote the integration of WASH, nutrition and education within nutrition policies and guidelines to maximize impact.

The impact

Strengthening gender-responsive, adolescent-friendly integrated nutrition, health and WASH services for those who need it most in Malawi, Ghana and Pakistan.

This project will address the structural, social and systemic barriers to ensure that women, adolescent girls and children in Malawi, Ghana and Pakistan can readily exercise their rights to health, nutrition and clean water. IGNIT3’s approach to developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating its interventions will enhance the capacities of various stakeholders to integrate, enhance and sustain quality nutrition, health and WASH services for the target populations in their respective countries.