Rapid Care & Feeding Assessment in Flood Affected Areas

Assessing Affected Children Needs in Real-time

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Rapid care and feeding assessment in floods 2022

In 2022, Pakistan was hit by a devastating flood that broke a century-old record, resulting in a humanitarian emergency that has affected the lives of over 33 million people, including 16 million children. To assess the impact of the floods on the nutritional practices and needs of infants, young children, and pregnant women, UNICEF and the MoNHSR&C commissioned IPSOS to conduct a rapid care and feeding assessment in the 15 most affected districts across four provinces.

The study used a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative data, and included a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) method for quantitative data collection. A total of 401 women were interviewed, comprising 58 pregnant women and 343 mothers of children aged 0-24 months. Qualitative data was collected through 12 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and 12 Key Informant Interviews (KIIs). Additionally, rapid MUAC screening was conducted in flood-affected areas with a sample size of 100 children per district.

The study revealed that during the floods, more than half (55%) of the pregnant women consumed only one food group, indicating a vulnerability in terms of access to nutrition and health for pregnant and lactating women during the disaster. Food consumption was lowest amongst pregnant and lactating women in Sindh and Balochistan, particularly for vitamins and minerals.

Breastfeeding practices and consequently the nutrition of infants aged 0 to 6 months were also adversely affected by the disaster. The study found that there was a difference of 9 per cent in early initiation of breastfeeding during floods. The frequency of breastfeeding also decreased during floods.

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