Community Health And Nutrition

Speeches Shim



Jordan faces a dual burden of overnutrition and undernutrition. The Jordan Population and Family Health Survey of 2017-2018 identified a number of startling findings, including that 55 percent of Jordanian women were overweight, and nearly 17 percent of newborns had a low birth weight – one of the highest percentages in the Middle East. Only a quarter of infants under the age of six months were exclusively breastfed and the median duration of exclusive breastfeeding was less than one month. Less than 25% of children ages 6-23 months met the minimum acceptable dietary standards. Figures like these have a negative effect on Jordan's long-term stability and economic growth, as malnourished children are more susceptible to disease, and more likely to have poorer educational and health outcomes and reduced economic activity into adulthood. In addition, most Jordanian women discontinue the use of contraceptive drugs or devices within twelve months of having a child. Healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies reduce the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight among newborns, and decreases the risk of maternal mortality, iron deficiency anemia, and obesity among mothers.


USAID’s Community Health and Nutrition Activity aims to improve the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and children under the age of two by improving maternal, infant, and young child nutrition and postpartum family planning behaviors. In close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the activity has a two-fold focus: supporting providers to offer quality services and educating communities about the importance of maternal, child, and family dietary practices.


The USAID Community Health and Nutrition Activity carried out three formative studies to inform the development of social behavior change activities and materials addressing maternal, infant, and young child nutrition and postpartum family planning behaviors. These studies included insight-gathering activities and an exploration of social norms to tailor interventions to Jordan, and trials of improved nutrition and postpartum family planning practices.

At the end of six years (2026), the activity will have:

  • Improved outcomes in early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding through the infant’s first six months, continued breastfeeding for two years, timely introduction of appropriate complementary foods, and healthy family diets.
  • Enhanced dietary diversity during pregnancy and strengthened use of modern contraceptive methods after delivery.
  • Established a series of social franchised public and private health facilities that are recognized for optimal infant and young child feeding and postpartum family planning services.

Following Jordan’s first case of COVID-19 in March 2020, the government rolled out an aggressive risk communication and community engagement campaign to encourage the adoption of protective behaviors and general community compliance with government guidance on COVID-19. Since 2020, CHN has partnered with the Ministry of Health to improve communications during the pandemic.

Key collaborative achievements:

  • CHN partnered with the Ministry of Health to design and implement five phases of national campaigns to promote COVID-19 prevention behaviors and vaccine uptake. With the adoption of the campaigns by several ministries, the campaigns reached over 7.5 million people.
  • In close collaboration with the ministry and several community-based organizations, CHN promoted vaccine uptake at the local level and conducted 1,200 COVID-19 community dialogue sessions reaching nearly 25,000 beneficiaries.
  • CHN implemented numerous studies to understand the determinants of COVID-19 preventative behaviors and vaccine uptake. These studies informed programming and improved the effectiveness of social and behavioral change activities and materials.

Last updated: July 20, 2022

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