Multi-sectoral and integrated nutrition programming:

Helen Keller Nepal implements health and nutrition interventions aligned with the Government’s Multi-Sector Nutrition Plan, which seeks to decrease chronic and acute malnutrition while enhancing food security and resilience in Nepalese families and communities. Helen Keller has collaborated closely with the Government of Nepal

and external development partners on national nutrition programs and policy areas, including the National vitamin A program, postpartum vitamin A supplementation, and IFA supplementation for pregnant and postpartum women and adolescents.

Additionally, the organization supported the government in developing the Health Sector Strategy for addressing maternal undernutrition for pregnant and lactating women and adolescent girls, endorsed by MOHP in 2013. Helen Keller is also a founding member of the National Nutrition Group and participates in various working groups under the Nutrition Technical Committee. Helen Keller worked with the Child Health Division under MOHP’s Department of Health Services to develop and endorse the National Strategy for Addressing Maternal Undernutrition. The strategy’s recommendations and strategic objectives have been integrated into the Maternal and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) Plan of Action for Nepal, endorsed by MOHP. Moreover, the organization has aided the Government of Nepal’s School Health and Nutrition Program in incorporating vital health, nutrition, and hygiene behaviors into its behavior change syllabus.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Water, sanitation, and hygiene behaviors have a direct impact on nutritional outcomes. Helen Keller has been integrating WASH into its nutrition programs. Suaahara program supported the Government of Nepal in its efforts towards achieving open defecation-free communities through a total sanitation campaign. It also promoted hand washing during critical times, treating drinking water, use and cleanliness of toilets, availability of handwashing stations in the households, and food hygiene. Additionally, advocacy campaigns were carried out at the local level to encourage WASH committees to enhance infection prevention and control measures in health facilities and communities. Technical assistance was given to health facilities and local government entities to establish and maintain health facility management committees to improve WASH facilities and services in health centers.

Infant and Young Child Nutrition and management of malnutrition

Helen Keller Intl’s Assessment & Research on Child Feeding (ARCH) research evidence supports the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) in developing optimal standards on commercially produced complementary foods (CPCF) for infants, including appropriate labeling and marketing of CPCF goods. Through ARCH, Helen Keller also provided lactation management training to health staff across national hospitals to support optimal breastfeeding practices, alongside developing monitoring tools and guidelines for breast-milk substitute (BMS) monitors, in line with the BMS Act.

Similarly, the Suaahara program trained health workers and FCHVs to screen and treat malnourished children and provided support to outpatient therapeutic centers that treat malnourished children. Similarly, Helen Keller’s Transforming Lives through Nutrition project aims to reduce the deaths of children attributable to malnutrition by scaling up life-saving breastfeeding, infant and young child feeding practices, and management of acute malnutrition interventions in 16 municipalities across 4 districts of Lumbini Province.

Support to strengthen Eye Health

Helen Keller has been working with the government of Nepal since 1988 to address critical issues related to eye care. We have collaborated with various organizations to offer care for infants with disabilities, and therapeutic treatments. We have also expanded Vitamin A supplementation, prevented child mortality and blinding xerophthalmia, and worked to eradicate trachoma. Helen Keller has partnered with various organizations to research the use of azithromycin for the treatment of trachoma and to determine whether Nepal can benefit from a fully integrated system of care for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).

Our Strengths

  • · Evidence-based planning and programming
  • · Integrated nutrition system delivering quality services to the poor and marginalized
  • · Inclusive eye health system
  • · Enhance the quality of life through nutrition and eye health system


  • · Improved access and utilization to quality, affordable and inclusive eye health services
  • · Improved access and utilization to quality and inclusive Maternal, Infant, Young Child, nutrition services
  • · Improved enabling environment for adolescents to adopt healthy behaviors.
  • · Strengthened services for the prevention and management of wasted children and malnourished women

Transition from IFA to MMS

Helen Keller International Nepal has completed a landscape analysis assessing the feasibility of transitioning from Iron Folic Acid (IFA) to Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation (MMS) for pregnant women to improve maternal and child health outcomes. Helen Keller has successfully created an enabling environment with the ultimate objective of introducing MMS as part of the antenatal care package in Nepal’s health system. A common consensus is built on the need to explore the feasibility of transition through implementation research for understanding and addressing barriers to optimize the impact of transitioning from IFA to MMS, and to help with program planning and national scale-up.

Social and Behavior Change Communication

Across all health and nutrition programs, Helen Keller integrates behavior change so that the changes are sustainable. For example, the Suaahara program employed a dynamic, cross-cutting SBCC strategy to promote health and nutrition behaviors at the individual, household, and community levels. The Suaahara II program used a family-focused strategy that involved all household members and employed a multi-channel approach utilizing IPC, community mobilization, digital/mobile technology and mass media.