Public Health Nutrition Institute -HELP

Nutrition is one of the basic components of a healthy life style that plays a significant role in promotion of health, prevention of disease and its management. Unfortunately, not much attention has been paid to the practical aspects of this subject in Pakistan; experience in community nutrition is non-existent. There are very few skilled personnel in the form of nutritional dieticians and community nutrition counselors. There is a shortage of training facilities, where medical and paramedical personnel can be taught fundamental clinical and community nutrition. Increasing prices of necessary food items, and illiteracy contributes towards making the situation worse. Due to these reasons, Pakistan suffers from a heavy burden of nutrition related problems.

Moreover, Pakistan has only a sparse amount of data regarding nutritional related issues. Few researchers have produced data related to nutritional problems, especially in women and children and more importantly, solutions to these problems. In an effort to address these issues HELP has established a Nutrition Resource Center.

Members of HELP have conducted research and published articles in National and International journals.

Objectives

  1. Prevention of malnutrition in women and young children
  2. Form a Network for nutrition related activities
  3. Develop a resource Bank
  4. Build capacity and expertise through training in Public Health Nutrition at National and Provincial level
  5. Develop, produce, and disseminate communication aids(IEC) and methods.
  6. Participate and initiate community based research in Nutrition
  7. Publish reviews and original research in institution done through the centre
  8. Model and test innovative strategies to prevent and manage malnutrition in women and children
  9. Enter into dialogue with Policy makers for nutrition related evidence based advocacy

Nutri-HELP”- High Density Diet (HDD)

A specially formulated high density diet has been developed by HELP for the treatment of moderate to severely malnourished children under five years of age.

In an attempt to rehabilitate severely wasted children ("3" SD) in their home environment HELP carried out a pilot intervention study in one of its communities, Khuda Ki Basti. Identified severely malnourished children were rehabilitated through counseling and giving High Density Diet(HDD). Success of the project is reflected by improvement in weight of these children from ("-3STD"), in a span of 3 months. The study has been published in JPMA (Feb 2010) JPMA.Org.Pk Results of this study encouraged HELP to replicate its methodology in other parts of the province with high malnutrition rates.

“Nutri-HELP” has been successfully used in “Mother and Child Friendly Community” in Nagarparkar, District Tharparkar (in collaboration with GAVI) and a ‘Home –Based Nutrition Rehabilitation’ project in Shahdadpur District Sanghar (Funded by World Bank)