INCAP's Technical Cooperation Coordinator in this country: Dr. Jorge Polanco
Address: 4792 Coney Drive, Coney Drive Business Plaza, 3rd Floor, Belize City, Belize P.O. Box 1834, Belize City, Belize
Phone: (501)224-4885; 224-4852; 224-5536; Fax: (501) 223-0917
Food and Nutritional Security is defined as the status on which all persons enjoy having food access in quantity and quality needed for an adequate consumption and biological use, guaranteeing a healthy life and socially productive.
The main objective of the National Policy of Food and Nutritional Security of Belize is to guarantee security and food sovereignty through the local sustainable production, supply, access and security use, high quality of nutritive, diversified and cultural acceptable foods for all Belizeans with the purpose of improving welfare and life quality.
It is recognized that significant health problems are directly linked to nutrition and lifestyles, both individually and collectively. The prevalence of overweight in children under 5 years (7.9%), and overweight and obesity in adults (65%) are known risks that influence chronic problems such as diabetes and hypertension and it´s complications. At the other extreme, chronic malnutrition occurs with a national prevalence of 19.3%.
The work of INCAP´s technical cooperation in Belize, focused on activities addressing determinants associated with nutritional diseases in children and adults. Emphasis was put to the strengthening of the primary level of health services to respond and meet nutritional needs through interventions for prevention and clinical care.
Major achievements during 2014:
- Integration of the WHO´s growth patterns of children under five years, as a tool for the nutritional surveillance information system of the Ministry of Health. A validation process of the growth charts was also conducted together with the mother or person responsible for the child, accompanied by a guide for counseling on food and nutrition education.
- INCAP´s technical cooperation included training for:
- 20 health professionals in the use and interpretation of WHO´s growth chart, with emphasis on early warning signs at childhood.
- Medical staff on the use of Dietary Guidelines for infants 6-11 months of age with emphasis on the proper use of the growth chart.
- 40 support and professional staff in breastfeeding practices as a preparation for the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital recertification.
- 20 medical staff (general practitioners and nurses) in 4 modules of the WHO´s mhGAP program.
- Promotion on food and nutrition security in specific subject areas: information, communication and education on issues of family gardens, breastfeeding, NCD prevention, overweight and obesity, targeting health and nutrition risks populations.
- Technical support for the formulation of the National Strategic Plan on Aging.
- Technical support in the review of the proposed Mental Health Policy.
- Support the development and dissemination of the National Strategic Plan on Non-Communicable Diseases.
- Implementation of a national consultation to review the National Cancer Plan with technical support from PAHO Washington, and with representation from all districts of the Belize Cancer Society, of the Dangriga Cancer Center, and representatives of the Planning Unit of the Ministry of Health.
- Strengthening nutritional surveillance at the local level, specifically at the level of services provided by rural nurses and community health workers.
- Technical contribution to the development of a flow chart for monitoring Ebola by the Ministry of Health.
- Participation with Ministry of Health professionals in the Regional Workshop: The use of the Software NutrINCAP in the assessment of food consumption.