The continuing deterioration in health services and destruction of health facilities from the Syrian crisis, has caused children under the age of five and pregnant or nursing women to be among the most vulnerable groups affected by malnutrition.
In 2015, in response to the emergence of malnutrition & the spread of poor nutrition habits, UOSSM began to develop and implement nutrition sector activities across all health care centers and mobile clinics throughout Syria. UOSSM also partners with UNICEF and WHO, providing coordinated nutrition services to the largest number of communities possible.
Number of Beneficiaries:
Nutrition services are delivered through nutrition technicians in primary health care centers and mobile clinics, based on the following protocols:
- Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Skills Program in Emergencies.
- Community Management Program for Severe Acute Malnutrition (CMAM).
In 2017, there were 175,763 beneficiaries of UOSSM’s nutrition services
UOSSM administered a survey of children aged 6-59 months and pregnant/nursing women in all projects. This survey revealed many malnutrition cases diagnosed as “severely” and “moderately” acute, requiring therapeutic intervention and CMAM program application.
5,583 cases of severe and moderate acute of malnutrition were found among children under five years of age and in pregnant/lactating women, including 630 severe acute malnutrition (SAM), and 3,580 moderate acute malnutrition (MAM).
Malnutrition interventions in UOSSM-affiliated PHC facilities achieved Cure Rates of 33% of the moderate (MAM), and 29% of the severe (SAM) cases. This intervention resulted in recovery and prevented development of accompanying complications and potential patient death.
A common cause in cases that do not heal is the constant movement due to displacement and change in accommodation of beneficiaries. Lack of parental response and treatment completion are other reasons.
Community health teams play a critical role in raising health awareness and educating parents about completing follow-up treatment and the danger of neglecting visits to health facilities.
UOSSM began implementing community health teams in 2014 given the urgent need to link primary health care facilities strongly with communities to ensure appropriate responses to health needs on the ground and facilitate early detection of health problems in society.
Number of Beneficiaries:
Community health worker teams - consisting of two community health workers each - carry out activities through regular field visits to beneficiaries in their homes. They work according to the following protocols:
- Infant and young child feeding skills (IYCF) in coordination with nutrition techniques
- CMAM program in coordination with nutrition techniques
- Reproductive Health
- Non‐Communicable Diseases
- Communicable Diseases
Integrated management of childhood illnesses
In 2017 community health workers conducted surveys to detect malnutrition cases, outreach cases for chronic diseases and epidemics, and referral services for primary health care centers.
189,501 community health services were provided through community health teams in 2017.
Community health teams raise health awareness in local communities and reduce pressure on health care facilities by providing advice in situations not needing a referral to a health center. They also mitigate exacerbation of health conditions with early-stage detection & treatment.