Nutrition is often sidelined or neglected in facilities by overburdened health workers, therefore particular attention is needed to encourage collaboration between stakeholders to promote and strengthen the effective implementation of nutrition interventions within maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (MNCAH) services. As quality improvement (QI) efforts focused on the WHO Quality of Care (QoC) standards are an important approach for improving the quality of health and nutrition care and services for women and children, MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership developed a technical brief on the nutrition components of the WHO MNCAH QoC standards and associated policy and implementation considerations. The brief highlights early learning from three QoC Network countries (Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Ghana) that are implementing efforts to improve the quality of integrated health and nutrition services, and outlines policy and implementation considerations for improving the quality of integrated nutrition and MNCAH services.

This resource is available in English and French.

Key Take-Aways

  • Further advocacy is required to highlight and advance the nutrition components of the WHO MNCAH QoC standards and to incorporate nutrition as a central element of interventions implemented within health systems, as opposed to the vertical scale-up of isolated nutrition interventions.
  • Large-scale, global commitments such as the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016–2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals should be overt in their efforts to promote and incorporate QoC standards.
  • The Network for Improving QoC for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health and associated QoC standards offer a vital platform for improving the quality of nutrition in MNCAH services by sharing useful resources and generating knowledge.