Adequate maternal nutrition is critical to maintaining a pregnant woman’s health and ensuring a healthy delivery. It also reduces the risk of birth defects, ensures optimal fetal development, and reduces the likelihood that a child will develop chronic health problems later in life. To help guide the design, implementation, and delivery of maternal nutrition interventions within the health system, the USAID-funded Maternal and Child Survival Program developed the Maternal Nutrition Operational Guidance: Program Considerations for Low- and Middle-Income Countries. This document aligns with global guidelines on maternal nutrition services during pregnancy and postnatal care.
In Uganda, USAID Advancing Nutrition field tested the operational guidance in collaboration with the USAID Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN) Activity, a five-year program to improve national maternal, newborn, child health, and nutrition outcomes. This joint activity aimed to identify maternal nutrition priorities that align with and support the newly drafted Maternal, Infant, Young Child and Adolescent Nutrition Guidelines developed by the Ugandan Ministry of Health and partners. As a result of the initial application and evaluation of the operational guidance, USAID Advancing Nutrition technical experts will also refine and adapt the guidance to help other implementing partners and Ministries of Health ensure delivery of evidence-based maternal nutrition activities within the health system.
USAID Advancing Nutrition conducted a webinar in February of 2021 to share recommended maternal nutrition priorities for Uganda identified through the operational guidance field test. Updated maternal nutrition operational guidance will be shared later this year.