|Central American Region and Dominican Republic continue showing high rates of chronic malnutrition, mostly in association with the vulnerability of the excluded populations and the poor performance of our countries in terms of the approach given to the social determinants of health and nutrition. Therefore, it is of high importance the strengthening of the National Programs to reduce chronic malnutrition and the development of strategies to assure the implementation of such a programs.
INCAP has recognized the value of the Scaling-Up Nutrition Initiative (SUN) and its focus on the 1000 days Window of Opportunity, from pregnancy through 24 months of age. This Initiative has been proposed by a large consortium of international cooperation Agencies and has been endorsed by many other organizations and governments. This initiative urges the governments and aid & development Agencies to place nutrition as a central theme through the implementation of a series of 13 evidence based nutrition interventions to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs including poverty and hunger among others. The main focus of these interventions is early gestation and early childhood, the timing where most benefits (cost/effective) can be achieved in terms of human capital development. Interestingly, part of the supportive evidence for this initiative has come from various longitudinal studies carried out in the world, including the Oriente Longitudinal Study in Guatemala, carried out by INCAP during more than 40 yrs.
INCAP has adopted and promoted the SUN Initiative in the region. Specially in Guatemala, where more than half of the cases with childhood chronic malnutrition of the region are located, INCAP in consortium with local and international Agencies, has recently initiated the implementation of a series of actions to support the government programs oriented to reduce chronic malnutrition, all of which have incorporated the interventions proposed by the SUN Initiative.
The Task Force focused on chronic malnutrition strengthens the capacities of the countries for the optimal performance of the National Programs for reducing chronic malnutrition, through regional workshops and working sessions with National leaders of such programs and the INCAP representative in each country (Coordinators of the INCAP Technical Cooperation). Read more: National Workshops (spanish version)