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Case Study on Adolescent Inclusion in the Care Group Approach - the Nigeria Experience

Authors: 
Shiromi M. Perera
Organizational Authors: 
International Medical Corps
Year Published: 
2015

As organizations begin to move beyond the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and begin focusing their attention on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), many in the global health community have realized that in order to better achieve such goals adolescents need to be a more significant part of the efforts. The Care Group approach can be an entry point for appropriately targeting adolescents to achieve improved maternal and child health and nutrition.

International Medical Corps is working to address malnutrition in Nigeria through a Care Group approach in four Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the North West state of Sokoto since 2014. A Care Group, which is a group of 10-15 trained volunteer community-based health educators, creates a multiplying effect to equitably reach every beneficiary household through interpersonal behavior change communication. These groups also provide the structure for a community health information system which can report new pregnancies, births and deaths detected during house visits. The Care Group approach aims to improve nutrition, health, WASH and IYCF practices among mothers and their children under 5 years, contributing to improved nutrition outcomes.

The overall objective of the Case Study was to describe the experience of adolescent girl inclusion in Care Groups, highlighting key learning points (barriers, boosters, and best practices) both for International Medical Corps staff who plan to include adolescents in Care Groups, and for the wider food security/nutrition community in order to more effectively tailor programs to include adolescent girls and meet their unique needs.

This case study was funded by a TOPS Small Grant.

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