One out of two children under age five in Madagascar suffers from chronic malnutrition with serious consequences such as slowed growth and impaired cognitive development. When mothers are equipped with information and understanding, they can make decisions to improve their own health and that of their families. Simple steps and good practices can make a real impact to protect children and their families against malnutrition and to prevent anemia and vitamin A deficiency, which are also common among young children in Madagascar.
The idea behind the Nutrition kit is to bring about changes in behaviors affecting health so that individuals and their families can make the best decisions. The kit takes an innovative approach to convey the message that childhood malnutrition can be prevented through a balanced and varied diet.
The kit, which was developed in partnership with the Malagasy National Office of Nutrition (ONN), offers practical solutions in situations where good nutrition is especially important, such as during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It uses interactive and innovative communication and education approaches that have been very well received: four videos made using motion graphic design provide information about nutrition during pregnancy, breastfeeding, foods for infants and the importance of a balanced, varied diet. Other activities include a card game for the entire family (also included in the WASH kit) with key messages about hygiene and nutrition.
The kit comes with moringa cuttings and seeds, and includes tips on how to cultivate this nutritious plant. A film about the moringa plant uses the popular “Draw My Life” animation style to demonstrate how to grow and care for the plant, its nutritional benefits and how to cook with it. The kit also contains two quizzes and a guide for teachers.
Results to date
The Nutrition kit has been designed to be incorporated into the national school curriculum like the other health education kits. After finalizing the kit, we plan to distribute it through school programs and national campaigns that aim to reach as many children as possible. Partner associations and national ministries that provided feedback during the development of the kit are especially enthusiastic about the results and look forward to distributing it on a wide scale. (See testimonial below)
Our goal for the WASH, Nutrition and other health education kits is to reach one million children by 2020 in Madagascar.
While WASH and Nutrition, the first two in our series, are being rolled out, we are developing additional kits on health-related themes using immersive technologies, games, films, etc. Future kits will address sexual education and the prevention of STDs, addiction, and personal hygiene.
The Nutrition kit can also be used as a training tool for community health workers and as a resource in outpatient nutritional recovery and education centers (CRENAM) that handle moderate cases of malnutrition.
- Malagasy Ministry of Education
- Malagasy Ministry of Public Health
- Malagasy National Office of Nutrition (ONN)
- Graines de Bitume, a local NGO
- Akamasoa, a local NGO
- The initiative is co-funded by Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux
Using educational, entertaining and dynamic communication tools to get the message across
“The target audience easily retained the messages, which were conveyed in a fun, entertaining and dynamic way. The communication materials developed by the Mérieux Foundation are very high quality – people really liked the voice-over by a well-known artist. In such a short span of time, the project team came up with four truly innovative ideas that complement existing materials: three motion design videos, one ‘Draw My Life’ film, a card game and a nutrition quiz. Congratulations to the entire team for a successful project to create education tools about good nutrition.”
Harilalao RAZAFIMANDIMBY, Communication Manager for Behavioral Change, Malagasy National Office of Nutrition (ONN)