oa South African Health Review - Nutrition policy implementation : priority programmes

Volume 2002 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



Both primary and secondary nutrition interventions are essential in South Africa, a country with an infant mortality rate of 45.2 deaths per 1000 live births, under-five mortality rate of 61 per 1000 live births and an estimated low birth weight rate prevalence of 8.3%. Additionally, the National Food Consumption Survey (NFCS) has recently reported that approximately one in five children aged 1-9 years of age in South Africa are stunted (21.6%) and one in ten (10.3%) are underweight for age. the survey also reported overweight / obesity in 6% of the sample at the national level increasing to 12% of children of well-educated mothers. <br>In this chapter the focus areas of the Integrated Nutrition Programme (INP) have been examined and critically discussed in order to determine whether targets planned for 2002 were met and how they are envisioned to change by 2007. These areas include : contribution to household food security; disease-specific nutrition support; growth monitoring and promotion; nutrition promotion and advocacy; promotion and support of breastfeeding; micronutrient malnutrition control; and food service management. <br>It is recommended that on the basis of the experience accrued so far, policy implementation should focus on the lowest level of primary and secondary health care. In addition the Directorate should be afforded the necessary resources to address the repeatedly documented lack of capacity at these levels, which could, arguably, be considered as the main impediment to the successful implementation of its programmes.

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