'Golden Thousand Days' program for pregnant likely
KATHMANDU, April 20: In a bid to improve the health status of pregnant women and curb infant mortality rate in the country, the government is mulling over introducing ´Golden Thousand Days´ program within three months.
"Recognizing the fact that the first 1,000 days are crucial for a child´s growth, we aim to take care of every child up to 1,000 days and the duration includes the baby´s time in the womb," Dinesh Thapaliya, spokesperson at the Ministry of Local Development (MoLD), told Republica.
The ministry is currently making preparations to implement the project, informed Thapaliya.
He said the program has been designed to help reduce infant mortality rate, increase health facilities in rural areas, bring about awareness among people on health and nutrition and help ensure that pregnant women do not give birth to underweight children.
The program to be implemented by local communities will identify the demands of pregnant women and supply required food items to improve the nutrition level and change behavior and attitude of pregnant women.
The five-year long program will be implemented in 15 various districts including Ramechhap, Nuwakot, Dhading, Udayapur, Parsa and Sunsari.
“We have chosen districts of Mid-Western and Eastern region by mapping the nutrition level,” he said adding, “We found that the districts chosen for the program are relatively low in the preference of donor agencies.”
The ´golden thousand days´ is a part of Multi-sectoral Nutrition Plan prepared by National Planning Commission. It is estimated that it will cost about Rs 40 million to implement the project. “The World Bank has provided Rs 18 million in grant and Rs 22 million in loan to the government to implement the project,” Thapaliya informed.