IMPACT STORY

Smart Growth Diary Solution

An innovative solution to improve early childhood development through reduction of stunting
Tanzania

Background

Nutrition is an important pillar in children’s development, and undernutrition has consequences for emotional, physical, and cognitive health. It can affect health into the future, including early onset of non-communicable diseases. Stunting- a form of undernutrition, in the first two years of life can lead to irreparable damage to a child. It is crucial that stunting is addressed using various efforts including ameliorating its risk factors such as poor feeding practices.

Problem

Despite efforts and investment to address stunting, this chronic form of undernutrition continues to affect more than 150 million children worldwide. Low income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and India succumb to the greatest brunt of this burden. Tanzania is among fourteen countries with an unprecedented burden of chronic forms of undernutrition. Despite efforts by the government and implementing partners, still 34% of children are stunted.

Solution

SGD is a mobile application tracking the growth of a child. Caregivers enter child’s data including height, weight, and dietary information including type and amount of food, and frequency and time of feeding of a child. A caregiver then receives feedback on the nutrition status of her/his child and the nutrition advice based on his/her dietary information.

Process

We used a human centered-design to develop SGD solution. We first went to talk to the stakeholders including users on our solution. We used their feedback to develop and improve the framework of the solution. We then incorporated nutrition guidelines to the solution. We are now testing the solution in health facilities of Temeke Municipality in Dar es Salam, Tanzania.

Impact and Outcomes

We are testing the solution in five health facilities namely Mbagala Rangi Tatu Hospital, Mbagala Round Table Health Center, Chamazi Dispensary, Consolata Sisters’ Dispensary, and Tambuka Reli Dispensary. We have registered over 1,500 caregivers and their children. Those children can visit the SGD solution every day and receive nutrition advice.

Key Collaborators

Our key collaborators include dLab and PEPFAR through MCC for the funding of $99450 and technical support we continue to receive. We also acknowledge the support we get from Tanzania Food and Nutrition Center for the support of Length boards we are using.

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