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Ehsaas Nashonuma Program | Addressing Child Malnutrition

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Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Programme

Ehsaas Nashonuma Program is a critical initiative under the broader Ehsaas framework launched by the Government of Pakistan. The program specifically targets child malnutrition, aiming to improve nutritional outcomes for pregnant and lactating women and children under the age of two. By addressing the root causes of malnutrition, the Ehsaas Nashonuma Program seeks to enhance vulnerable populations’ overall health and well-being.


The primary objective of the Ehsaas Nashonuma Program is to reduce the incidence of stunting and malnutrition among children by providing comprehensive nutritional support and health services. The Ehsaas program focuses on ensuring that children receive the necessary nutrients during the critical first 1,000 days of life, from conception to two years of age.

Key Components and Implementation

1. Nutritional Support:

  • Supplementary Food: Provides nutritious food packages to pregnant and lactating women and children under two years of age. These packages include fortified wheat flour, pulses, cooking oil, and specialized nutritional supplements.
  • Micronutrient Supplements: Offers essential vitamins and minerals to prevent deficiencies that can lead to malnutrition and stunting.

2. Health Services:

  • Regular Health Check-Ups: Conducts routine health check-ups for mothers and children to monitor growth and development, identify nutritional deficiencies, and provide necessary medical interventions.
  • Immunization: Ensures that children receive timely vaccinations to protect against preventable diseases that can exacerbate malnutrition.

3. Conditional Cash Transfers:

  • Incentives for Health Compliance: Provides conditional cash transfers to mothers who comply with health and nutrition protocols, such as attending health check-ups and ensuring their children receive vaccinations.
  • Financial Support: Offers financial incentives to encourage families to participate in the program and adhere to recommended health and nutrition practices.

4. Education and Awareness:

  • Nutrition Education: Educates mothers and caregivers about the importance of proper nutrition, breastfeeding, and hygiene practices to improve child health outcomes.
  • Behaviour Change Communication: Implements behaviour change communication strategies to promote healthy eating habits and preventive healthcare.

Target Beneficiaries

1. Pregnant and Lactating Women:

  • Nutritional Needs: Focuses on meeting the nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating women to ensure healthy pregnancies and optimal breastfeeding practices.
  • Health Monitoring: Provides regular health monitoring and support to promote maternal health and prevent complications during pregnancy and lactation.

2. Children Under Two Years of Age:

  • Critical Development Period: Targets children in the first 1,000 days of life, a crucial period for physical and cognitive development.
  • Growth Monitoring: Monitors growth parameters to identify and address stunting and wasting early on.

Impact and Success Stories

1. Improved Nutritional Status:

  • Reduction in Malnutrition: Achieves significant reductions in the rates of malnutrition, stunting, and wasting among program beneficiaries.
  • Health Improvements: Observe improvements in overall health and development indicators, including weight gain, height, and cognitive development.

2. Empowered Communities:

  • Health Awareness: Raises awareness about nutrition and health within communities, leading to lasting behavioural changes and improved health outcomes.
  • Community Engagement: Encourages community involvement and ownership of health and nutrition initiatives, fostering a supportive environment for sustained impact.

3. Case Study:

  • Zainab’s Transformation:
    • Zainab, a young mother from a rural village, benefited from the Ehsaas Nashonuma Program’s nutritional support and health education. Her son, Ali, who was underweight and frequently ill, showed remarkable improvement in his growth and health after receiving regular health check-ups, supplementary food, and micronutrient supplements. Zainab credits the program for educating her about the importance of proper nutrition and breastfeeding, which has transformed her family’s health.

Challenges and Mitigation Strategies

1. Accessibility and Reach:

  • Remote Areas: Overcoming challenges in reaching remote and underserved areas with limited healthcare infrastructure.
  • Mitigation: Deploying mobile health units and collaborating with local health workers to extend program reach and ensure accessibility.

2. Sustainability and Scalability:

  • Resource Allocation: Ensuring sustained funding and resources to maintain program operations and scale up interventions.
  • Mitigation: Seeking partnerships with international organizations, donors, and private sector entities to support program sustainability and expansion.

Future Directions and Sustainability

1. Integration with Other Programs:

  • Holistic Approach: Integrating the Nashonuma Program with other Ehsaas initiatives to address broader socio-economic determinants of malnutrition, such as poverty, education, and sanitation.
  • Collaborative Efforts: Strengthening collaborations with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and community groups to enhance program effectiveness and impact.

2. Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Data-Driven Approach: Implementing robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track program outcomes, identify gaps, and inform evidence-based decision-making.
  • Continuous Improvement: Using data insights to refine program strategies, improve service delivery, and ensure continuous improvement.


The Ehsaas Nashonuma Program represents a vital initiative in Pakistan’s fight against child malnutrition. By providing comprehensive nutritional support, health services, and education, the program addresses the root causes of malnutrition and promotes the well-being of mothers and children. Through sustained efforts and community engagement, the Ehsaas Nashonuma Program is paving the way for a healthier and more prosperous future for Pakistan’s vulnerable populations.

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