HEALTH & NUTRITION
Three Stones is committed to using gender-sensitive social behavior communication change (SBCC) interventions to disrupt the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition and help address the dual burden of under and over nutrition. Our approach is pragmatic and contextual-based incorporating cross-sector experience in health, nutrition, WASH, gender, and social inclusion with program evaluation/research.
Undernutrition during pregnancy has detrimental effects on the next several generations, leading to sub optimal infant nutrition, poor health and higher risk of diseases later in life. This intergenerational cycle of undernutrition determines maternal nutrition status at conception, perpetuating low birth-weight and attributing to a negative cyclical pattern. Thus, Three Stones works to develop interventions aimed at improving women’s nutrition and health throughout the life cycle with optimal food intake and micronutrient status in order to break this cycle.
Interventions based on a life-course approach, targeting the health of adolescent girls, can have the largest impact on improved birth outcomes and breaking the inter-generational cycle of undernutrition. Therefore, Three Stones aims at improving nutrition of women and girls, preventing teenage pregnancies, supporting adequate spacing of pregnancies and improving access to health and obstetric care. We do this not only via our research and SBCC interventions but also from actively participating in the national dialogue and supporting Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) movement. For example, we actively participate in the nutrition and early childhood development technical working groups and have regular engagement with Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion.
Recently, Three Stones conducted an intensive study, “Using Trials of Improved Practices to Test Strategies for More Optimal Nutrition in Underweight and Overweight Children in Rwanda” sponsored by Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International. This research included 4 months of fieldwork and was completed in collaboration with Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC).
Currently, Three Stones is designing and implementing an SBCC intervention to increase the consumption of milk and animal source foods (ASFs) in Rwanda. The intervention aims to reach pregnant and lactating women and parents of children from 1 – 3 ½ years old, drawing participants from the Government of Rwanda’s One Cow per Family (Girinka) Program*. The implementation plan and SBCC key messages and materials have been designed to align with National guidelines for Community Health Workers curriculum, the local context and the formative research findings. Innovative and creative input made way for cross- cutting messages and the inclusion of Gender and WASH. We have also facilitated urban and rural cooking demonstrating to encourage improved dietary consumption of nutritious foods.
In respect to health and nutrition, Three Stones provided technical assistance to USAID to evaluate savings groups as well as identify best practices and programmatic weaknesses in health and nutrition programming for the USAID flagship $188M Community Health and Improved Nutrition (CHAIN) Program. Additionally, we have completed an Adolescent Drug Study in Rwanda; an Orphan and Vulnerable Children Household Baseline in Kenya, a gender and menstrual hygiene assessment in Burkina Faso and Highly Successful Hepatitis Treatment Outcomes research in Rwanda.