Nutrition Module: Introduction

Introduction to Nutrition Module

The national health strategy of Ethiopia emphasises the provision of effective health promotion and disease prevention services at the community level. The first Millennium Development Goal (MDG1) calls for the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. Achievement of MDG1 is crucial for national socioeconomic progress and development. For this purpose, Ethiopia has developed a National Nutrition Strategy (NNS) and launched a National Nutrition Programme (NNP) in 2008. The vision of the NNS/NNP is

‘to ensure that all Ethiopians secure adequate nutritional status in a sustainable manner which is an essential requirement for a healthy and productive life’.

The NNP, working hand in hand with the successful Health Extension Programme (HEP), has the potential to bring about major change to the status of health and nutrition in Ethiopia.

The Nutrition Module is studied in parallel with a Practical Skills Training Programme at health facilities in your locality. This blended approach to learning will ensure that you achieve all the theoretical and practical competencies required to give effective nutritional care and support in your community.

The Nutrition Module has 13 study sessions, starting with the basics of nutrition and finishing with a session on the Nutrition Information System in Ethiopia. The first three Study Sessions cover food, diet and nutrition; nutrients and their food sources (in Ethiopia); and nutritional requirements throughout the human lifecycle. Study Session 4 deals with infant and young child feeding in the context of our country. Following this, you will learn different methods of nutritional assessment (Study Session 5) both at individual and community level. In Study Sessions 6 and 7, the nutritional problems that are of public health importance in Ethiopia are elaborated; followed by household food security (Study Session 8). Study Sessions 9 and 10 cover the treatment and control of the main nutritional problems of Ethiopia, including severe micronutrient malnutrition. In Study Session 11 you will learn about education and how to counsel people in your community to prevent or address nutrition problems. Nutrition and HIV is considered in Study Session 12. Finally, in Study Session 13 you look at the Nutrition Information System in Ethiopia and your role in collecting data that helps to inform decision-making in relation to nutrition programmes and other interventions in Ethiopia.