Childhood with a Future presents the first results – Ministry of Public Health

Quito, September 14, 2022

Thousands of families benefit from the program dedicated to combat Chronic Child Malnutrition

The Technical Secretariat of Ecuador Grows Without Child Malnutrition in coordination with various State portfolios, including the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion, the Ministry of Health and the National Directorate of Civil Registry, are working on the promotion of social change and multisectoral articulation to deal with Chronic Child Malnutrition (DCI), from the Childhood with a Future program.

Erwin Ronquillo, Technical Secretary of Ecuador Grows Without Child Malnutrition; José Ruales, Minister of Health; Esteban Bernal, Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion; and Fernando Alvear, National Director of the Civil Registry, gave a joint press conference to publicize the results of the articulated work that is being carried out in order to provide health care and social benefits in a timely and effective manner to prevent and reduce this problematic.

Secretary Ronquillo reported that one of the actions undertaken by the Government to deal with the problem is work in the territory, which is carried out by the Childhood with a Future university brigades. The objective of these teams is the early recruitment of pregnant women and infants, under 2 years of age, to guarantee that the group of beneficiaries receives all health care; as well as the required social protection services. In addition, the brigades are the first channel of contact with families to provide them with information about Chronic Child Malnutrition, its causes and consequences, and what they should do within their homes to guarantee the correct development of their children; that is, with the visits, an educational process is also worked on to influence changes in habits at the family level and promote empowerment to overcome this social problem.

“So far, the brigade members have managed to identify at the national level, a total of 65,349 beneficiaries, of which 51,079 are under 24 months and 14,270 pregnant womenthat today they can access State assistance to prevent them from falling into malnutrition, “said Ronquillo.

Of the 65,349 people identified, all are receiving different services and attention. From this group, it can be specified that 40,318 already access health care, 19,365 perceive the services of Comprehensive Child Development of the MIES, 27,797 receive breastfeeding and healthy eating counseling and 41,216 already has birth registration.

It is important to mention that at the end of August the brigades began the second phase of work to visit new populations and increase the number of beneficiaries of State services to prevent Chronic Child Malnutrition.

In this second stage, 1,024 brigade members participate, from 3 state universities who will travel to 255 of the 728 prioritized parishes and aim to identify almost 79,000 pregnant mothers, girls and boys under 2 years of age. The Polytechnic School of the Coast (ESPOL), the Polytechnic School of Chimborazo (ESPOCH) and the Technical University of the North, are the institutions that are part of the process.

The Future Childhood Bonus responds to another of the actions undertaken by the National Government. Through this economic support, protection is guaranteed from pregnancy to two years of age. We are taking care of the most important time of life that will mark the future of our girls and boys,” said Esteban Bernal, Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion.”

To date, 25,313 is the number of beneficiaries qualified to receive the Future Childhood Bonus. Of this figure, 17,976 correspond to pregnant women and 7,337 to children under 24 months of age.

In relation to this social policy, the MIES, through its Comprehensive Child Development programs, provides care, protection and monitoring services to 264,958 users, including children from 0 to 3 years of age and pregnant mothers; investing, during the Government of the Meeting, more than 203.9 million dollars.

On the other hand, the Minister of Health, José Ruales, informed that 755 professionals are added to the care of 275,000 pregnant women and 527,000 children – girls under 2 years of age, through the Ecuador Strategy Grows without Child Malnutrition, a goal proposed by the Ministry of Health for 2022. The work of 189 family physicians earning scholarships, 100 nurses, 49 general practitioners, 22 midwives, 284 nutritionists, 85 health promoters Y 56 professionals from different areas will improve the quality of service and increase the productivity of care in health establishments.

Similarly, it was reported that prenatal care coverage grew from 33.45% to 52.30% during the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year, which is reflected in 160,190 pregnant women attended. As for the coverage of healthy child control, between January and June 2022, it increased from 16.78% to 42.50% in relation to 2021, arriving to 280,455 boys and girls under 24 months in the first half of this year.

Finally, Minister Ruales announced that there are 196,932 new beneficiaries of micronutrient supplementation among pregnant women and children under two years of age, nationally. Supplementation seeks to reduce nutritional deficiencies such as anemia, which is caused by lack of iron. The budget allocated for the purchase of micronutrients for this year is 3.6 million dollars.

One of the steps to deal with Chronic Child Malnutrition is related to the timely registration of newborns. Fernando Alvear, National Director of the Civil Registry maintains that “birth registration for children under two years of age is free of charge, safeguarding the right to identity of our children and their access to all the services that the National Government provides. to the citizens”.

Continuing with the actions in the territory, Ronquillo stressed that 28 fairs Infancia Con Futuro, activations through which it has been achieved that nearly 22 thousand people access government services in their communities.

The fairs, so far, have been held in Limón Indanza, Sigchos, Pucará, Pindal, Flavio Alfaro, Huaquillas, Vinces, Ibarra, Santo Domingo, Guaranda, Quevedo, Otavalo, Pelileo, Zamora, Guayaquil, Píllaro, Archidona, Lago Sour, Macas, Playas, Zaruma, Tena, Esmeraldas, Pujilí, Gualaceo, La Concordia, Oña and Camilo Ponce Enríquez.

According to figures from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (Ensanut 2018), 27.2% of children under two years of age in Ecuador suffer from Chronic Child Malnutrition. The goal of the National Government is to reduce this problem by 6 percentage points by the year 2025 and provide our girls and boys with a future of opportunities.

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Childhood with a Future presents the first results – Ministry of Public Health