Attempts to relieve malnutrition can be thwarted by lack of useful indicators and metrics. Short term success relies on quick fixes that merely act as bandages for larger socio economic problems. Success cannot be measured by month to month results or aggregate national or regional data. Both provide illustrative examples of microscopic or broad momentum of progress, but fail to provide insight into real improvements. Therefore, we seek to define goals and systematic strategies and particular interventions to meet those objectives.
Over the course of 2018, we have been and continue to develop key objectives for 2019 targeting:
1. Immediate relief for malnourished children by providing nutritional and emotional support
2. Improvement of post-emergency care at nutritional centers
3. Continuing care for children when they have reached a basic, stable level of nutrition
Our objectives will be measured against a baseline of metrics including: physical characteristics of children admitted to hospitals, the neighborhoods in which they live, estimated household income, relation of child to primary caregiver, educational level obtained by the primary caregiver, number of members in each household, physical state of abode, and physical, mental, or emotional abuse to the child. By collecting this and additional data, we are forming a data-driven story of where these children are coming from in order to assess the root causes of malnutrition. These data provide the foundation for ongoing feedback loops to ensure any single intervention does not try and claim causal success stemming from independent factors. Once our baseline has completed, we will develop a pathway forward to combat the causes of malnutrition and begin stabilizing the health of severely malnourished children in the region.