Nourished bodies, better health
Good health starts with good nutrition. It allows children to stay well, do better in school, and recover from illness more quickly. Nourished mothers have healthier babies. And healthier communities are better equipped to prevent and fight disease.
Yet worldwide, undernutrition hinders communities and contributes to the deaths of an estimated 3 million children every year. Conversely, a growing overweight and obesity epidemic is contributing to rising rates of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)—the leading cause of death worldwide.
PATH initiatives get to the root of poor nutrition and empower communities to thrive.
Gold-standard nutrition for every baby
Breast milk offers babies crucial nutrition and immunity, but has not always been prioritized in global efforts. PATH helps to close the gap by supporting countries and communities to promote exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a baby’s life. We also help leaders establish and expand human milk banks to provide safe donated milk to at-risk, vulnerable babies. As part of this work, we are advancing new tools to assist milk banks, such as an easy-to-use, mobile phone–based pasteurization monitoring system and global guidelines to enable safe and consistent practice.
Detecting and preventing malnutrition
PATH works to prevent, identify, and address all forms of malnutrition. With local communities and governments, we help to expand and strengthen the delivery of nutrition interventions for mothers, infants, and young children, especially during the first 1,000 days of life when children are most vulnerable.
We also develop or adapt new tools to improve nutrition. For example, we are advancing diagnostic tests that screen for disease and nutritional deficiencies at the same time, new tools to detect anemia (low blood iron), and a mobile device to help health workers measure infants’ growth. In addition, we are pursuing diagnostics and vaccines to protect the livestock thousands of communities rely on for food.
Integrating nutrition into global efforts
PATH applies our expertise to assist global donors, international governing bodies, national leaders, and health workers to design effective nutrition interventions and integrate nutrition into other health programs, including reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health; HIV; immunization; and NCDs. In addition, our advocates work with global and local partners to ensure that nutrition remains a priority.
Innovation to feed individuals and families
PATH seeks out innovative approaches to overcome long-standing obstacles to nutrition. With our support, locally produced fortified rice has reached nearly 3 million people on three continents. In addition, we are exploring how traditional foods and practices, including fermented foods, edible insects, and small-scale farming, can alleviate malnutrition and generate economic opportunity.
Special Initiative on Nutrition Innovation
In all of these efforts, we recognize that nutrition is affected by a variety of factors, including economics and climate change. To address this complexity, PATH established the Special Initiative on Nutrition Innovation to align and expand our expertise in nutrition; agriculture; water, sanitation, and hygiene; and other areas. We are also part of a collaboration that brings together more than 200 experts to solve complex health, environment, and development challenges and increase the attention and funding dedicated to these issues.
Photo: PATH/Carib Nelson.
From rice paddy to table, we're helping break the cycle of malnutrition
Human milk banks
Human milk banks may help save vulnerable babies
Mama SASHA Project
Sweetpotato helps reduce under-nutrition and poverty in Kenya