"To reduce the prevalence of stunting* in children under two through collective multi-sector action."
*Stunting is low height-for-age, a sign of chronic of undernutrition reflecting the cumulative effects of long-term nutritional deprivation.
Despite improvements, malnutrition remains widespread in Timor-Leste, in rural and urban communities and across both rich and poor households. Along with Burundi and Eritrea, Timor-Leste has the 3rd highest prevalence of stunting in the world. 1
Nationally, half of all children under five years are stunted.2
Stunted children complete 4.6 less grades in school compared to children who are not stunted.3
As adults, stunted children earn 21% less in adult wages compared to children who are not stunted.3
Stunted children are at increased risk of developing chronic diseases (e.g hypertension or diabetes) later in life.4
Preventing stunting has inter-generational human, social and economic benefits for individuals, their households and the nation.
1. Ministry of Health (2013) Timor-Leste Food and Nutrition Survey &
UNICEF-WHO-The World Bank (2015) Joint child malnutrition estimates - Levels and trends
2. Ministry of Health (2013) Timor-Leste Food and Nutrition Survey
3. Hoddinott et al (2013) The Economic Rationale for Investing in Stunting Reduction
4. Uauy R et al (2008) Nutrition, child growth, and chronic disease prevention
The causes of stunting are complex and diverse and not just the responsibility of one sector. Independent of income and access to health services, stunting can be reduced through the following factors.5
The global evidence is clear, breaking the inter-generational cycle of stunting requires collective action targeting all causes.6
5. Smith and Haddad (2014) Reducing Child Undernutrition: Past Drivers and Priorities for the Post-MDG Era
6. Ruel M T, et al (2013) Nutrition sensitive interventions and programmes: how can they help to accelerate progress in improving maternal and child nutrition.
We are taking an evidence-based approach to improve the quality and coverage of nutrition promoting interventions, and utilising innovative technology to promote social and behavioural change.
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Hamutuk is working to promote a nutrition enabling environment by strengthening our partners’ capacity to deliver nutrition promoting interventions.
Hamutuk is using a rigorous research design to develop a comprehensive behaviour change methodology, aimed at identifying a range of nutrition promoting behaviours and linking those with behavioural triggers.
Hamutuk is developing an innovative mobile and online platform to leverage the collective effort of our partners to achieve greater results. The platform also speeds up the monitoring and evaluation cycle to provide faster insights of interventions that are having the greatest impact.
"Protecting, promoting, and supporting maternal, infant and young child feeding practices through mother supports groups prevents stunting. "
"Promoting male engagement facilitates better health and nutrition outcomes for households."
"Health and hygiene facilities provided to adolescent girls in school increases rates of female secondary education."
"Living in a safe and inclusive environment supports the health and nutrition outcomes of all people."
"Ensuring all children have access to education and a year round supply of quality foods will ensure good nutrition and healthy lives. "
"Family planning prevents early pregnancy and allows for healthy pregnancy timing, leading to better nutritional outcomes for mothers and their children. "
"Using multi-sector approaches, including nutrition education, small scale agriculture, and savings and loans schemes can combat malnutrition at the community level."
"Disability and nutrition are closely linked. Poor nutrition, especially among children, can lead to developmental delays and impairments which can lead to long-term disability."
"Adequate sanitation, access to safe water and good hygiene practices help prevent undernutrition, 25% of stunting is caused by repeated diarrhoea in early life."
"Behavior change SMS messages for mothers and their families promoting antenatal care, access to skilled birth attendants, and in facility births improves maternal and child health outcomes."
"Reducing poverty and hunger by improving fisheries and aquaculture. "
Hamutuk is commencing work in Holarua. The village of Holarua is located in a mountainous area in the municipality of Manufahi. Holarua consists of 13 hamlets, half of which are not accessible from the main road. The total population is approximately 7,000 people.
Holarua was selected as the first project site because it is geographically isolated and there is a large overlap of partners implementing nutrition promoting interventions. Over the next five years, Hamutuk plans to expand to other villages in Timor-Leste.
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