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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 115-126

Integrating psychosocial support into nutrition programmes in West Africa during the Sahel food crisis

1 World Vision Australia in the Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs department. She has post graduate qualifications in both Psychology and Infant Mental Health
2 clinical psychologist with World Vision Australia's Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs Team. She is World Vision International's lead program advisor for mental health and psychosocial support programmes

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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For optimal physical and cognitive development to occur, a child requires adequate nutrition, but this should occur in addition to physical and emotional stimulation from a caregiver. Programmes, in which interventions for nutrition, maternal mental health and psychosocial stimulation are integrated, provide much wider benefits to a child's psychical and cognitive development than stand alone nutritional responses. With this in mind, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) prioritised the integration of psychosocial stimulation, within their nutrition response, during the West Africa Sahel food crisis. Brief trainings were organised within five West African countries in order to strengthen the capacity of UNICEF and partner organisations to initiate psychosocial activities within their nutritional programmes.

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