Feed the Future Tajikistan Health and Nutrition Activity

Through the Feed the Future Tajikistan Health and Nutrition Activity (THNA), IntraHealth improved health and nutrition for almost 250,000 women and 600,000 children and engaged almost 450,000 community members on agriculture management.

IntraHealth and partner Abt Associates focused on the remote Khatlon region, which had the highest under-five mortality rate in the country, during the five-year project. Community health volunteers were a key component of the project’s success. THNA trained almost 1,400 health volunteers and 500 agriculture volunteers on behavior change interventions, including through home visits, cooking demonstrations, peer support groups, child growth promotional campaigns, small group trainings on agriculture, household budgeting, and community health events.

Over the lifetime of the project, agricultural volunteers engaged almost 450,000 community members. As a result, the use of improved agricultural practices increased significantly and the proportion of women with savings and budget plans to buy healthy and nutritious food doubled.

THNA used an innovative approach to the peer-support group model previously used in the region by creating four different peer support model groups for young mothers, mothers-in-law, men, and school peer educators. Each group met at least once a month to discuss a nutrition-related topic and more than 6,288 people participated in all 500 communities.

Almost 600,000 children under five and 250,000 pregnant women received THNA-supported nutrition services. The proportion of women achieving minimum dietary diversity reached 90%, compared to 71% in non-THNA communities. In 12 THNA target hospitals, 155,819 newborns received postnatal care within two days of childbirth. Non-breastfed children between the ages of 6 months and 23 months receiving minimum acceptable diet increased from 16% in 2016 to 53% in 2019, and children who were breastfed increased from 18% to 37% in the same period.

Selected Achievements

Performed in-depth assessments of 14 hospital maternity wards and six primary care centers in the first significant assessment of hospitals in Tajikistan.
Trained high school peer educators in nutrition, agriculture, sanitation, and hygiene
Trained and mobilized more than 1,400 volunteer community health educators to teach women in their neighborhoods about proper prenatal care
Upgraded Bokhtar District Hospital's maternity ward with new equipment and supplies