All nine Provinces have plans to deal with malnutrition, specifically to address prevention and management of acute malnutrition in young children. Four provinces (Eastern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga and North West) have malnutrition plans which have been approved by the relevant Head of Health. The other provinces have draft plans that are in the process of being approved.
The aim of the plan is to reduce the incidence and mortality due to moderate and severe acute malnutrition among children below 5 years of age. The plan addresses the following key areas:
- prevention strategies: (breastfeeding promotion and support,promotion of appropriate complementary feeding, routine growth monitoring at all Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities using the Road to Health Booklet, provision of nutritional supplements, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and ensuring that all children are immunised)
- case detection: (routine growth monitoring, nutritional assessment of all children under 5 years who are admitted to hospital (irrespective of diagnosis))
- inpatient case management:(standard protocols for the management of severe acute malnutrition, provision of therapeutic foods, Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment (ETAT),
- linkages with communities for follow-up care after discharge from inpatient care: (follow-up care at PHC facilities)
- data recording and reporting systems.