The ‘Escuela Superior Politecnica del Chimborazo’ (ESPOCH) in partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), presented the results of a pilot plan developed from January to April this year, in Alausí canton (Chimborazo province), in the parishes of Tixán and Achupallas.
The objective of this plan is to test the effectiveness of the prioritized package, aimed to assist pregnant mothers and children under two years, which cover prenatal check-ups and well-child checkup, the vaccination schedule and child development counseling. This prioritized package is part of the strategy to reduce chronic child malnutrition, which is promoted by the National Government.
Specifically, the piloting was based on instruments worked within the centers where the services of the prioritized package are provided; the results obtained allowed the elaboration of improvement plans and their implementation in the care of pregnant women and children under two years. This information and the identification of good practices by the Ministries of Health, and Economic and Social Inclusion will be shared with other care centers nationwide. In addition, this pilot plan allowed the collection of feedback on the methodology so that it can be adapted to each of its stages to the Ecuadorian context.
Pablo Vanegas, vice-rector of research and postgraduate studies at the EP ESPOCH, pointed out that coordinated actions are needed to ensure that services reach their intended beneficiaries efficiently and that, in the long term, the country's conditions could be changed. "The elements of the package have been evaluated and improvement alternatives have been presented. Ecuador could make effective use of the results of this pilot".
By her side, Cecilia Barragan, UNICEF focal point for the UN joint program 'Financing the SDGs and targeting Chronic Child Malnutrition', mentioned the importance of addressing chronic malnutrition as a multi-causal problem that requires an approach from various sectors and also requires an adequate allocation of resources "Combating it demands a sufficient and adequate allocation of resources and this requires the search for fiscal space".
Financing the SDGs and targeting chronic child malnutrition is a joint program involving the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program (WFP), agencies of the United Nations system in Ecuador in support to the national government. The interagency program, promoted by the Joint United Nations SDG Fund, aims to generate an environment to improve the management of sustainable development financing in Ecuador and leverage both public and private resources for the SDGs. Specifically, the strengthened financial structure will be applied to one of the country's main health problems, chronic child malnutrition, to help improve its indicators with multiplier effects on the SDGs.