Bolivia aims for zero malnutrition

The government of Bolivia has renewed its commitment to fight malnutrition by including the ‘zero malnutrition programme’ into its national development plan.

The Zero malnutrition programme is a national campaign spearheaded by Ana Maria Aguilar from Instituto de Investigaciones en Salud y Desarrollo Facultad de Medicina Universidad Mayor de San Andres in La Paz. The programme aims to eradicate malnutrition related deaths country-wide.

During 2007 the case management of severe wasting became a priority stream in the national development plan. All 12 tertiary hospitals now implement the WHO inpatient guidelines, and case management has improved with several hospitals achieving case fatality rates of around 5%.

Training at scale has been provided for doctors, nurses, auxillary nurses, and nutritionists on the diagnosis of severe, moderate and mild wasting and stunting. Drugs and supplements to prevent and treat malnutrition are now available in hospitals across the country.

Care is also expanding into the community. Health centres provide domiciliary management of moderate wasting, and staff are being hired and trained to strengthen nutrition units. Of 328 municipalities, 60 provide fortified complementary food, and the remainder are progressing towards provision.

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