NTAG was established as a non-governmental organization in 1993 and since then has emerged as one the nation’s major technical support groups extending technical support to the Ministry of Health and Population in implementing the community based program, the National Vitamin A Program, CB – IMCI, deworming, iron intensification and case treatment protocol programs. NTAG has oriented, trained and coordinated with health workers all over Nepal at the primary health centers and other health facilities. NTAG has been extending technical support in motivating and mobilizing almost 49,000 Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) and has been dosing vitamin A capsules to 3.7 million children biannually each year over two days since 1993. NTAG has initiated and played a crucial role in establishing the FCHV Endowment Fund to sustain the FCHV program in Nepal. NTAG has received financial assistance from USAID, UNICEF, AusAID, MI, WHO, WFP, JICA, etc.
NTAG has a team of highly qualified and experienced health workers who are very committed to their works as reflected in the awards the organization has received: awards for Best Practices in Global Health in 2000, Global Health Heroes in 2005, Frontline Heroes in 2006 and Global Diffusion of Healthcare Innovation in 2015. Beside the regular health professionals, NTAG also has a pool of highly qualified professionals whose services are utilized by NTAG in various health programs implemented at the community level. NTAG has its office at Maitighar, Kathmandu, with a team of staff who manages the finance, personal and logistics of all the programs. NTAG’s technical staff consists of a public health expert (with national and international experience), senior health program trainers, management and logistic staff and a financial consultant (CA). NTAG is registered with the Kathmandu District Administration Office and Social Welfare Council under the provision of the NGO Act. The organization manages funds received from donors such as USAID, UNICEF, MI, JICA, AusAID, WHO and Save the Children. NTAG is a regular tax paying organization and a separate audit is done for each program.
1) National Vitamin A Program (NVAP)
Since its establishment, NTAG has emerged as one of the nation’s key technical assistance groups extending support to Ministry of Health and Population, Government of Nepal in implementing the National Vitamin A Program. NTAG is currently providing technical assistance to MoHP in biannual vitamin A supplementation with deworming of children aged one to five years. Supplementation occurs biannually on Baisakh 6th and 7th (mid-April) and Kartik 2nd and 3rd (mid-October).
2) Community Based- Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (CB-IMCI)
Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) is an integrated approach that helps to save the lives of thousands of children who would otherwise die from easily prevented diseases. NTAG provides the technical support to MoHP for training health personnel and Community Health Workers (VHW/MCHW and FCHVs on CB – IMCI program.
NTAG has been the pioneering organization in providing CB – IMCI training to community health workers and FCHVs. So far, NTAG has conducted CB – IMCI training in 21 districts with the financial supports from different donors (USAID, JICA, AusAID and UNICEF).
3) Iron Intensification Program (MI &UNICEF) – 72 districts
In 2004 NTAG, with the financial support from MI, provided technical assistance to the Department of Health Services in implementing the Phase 1 of the Intensification of Maternal and Neonatal Micronutrient Program (IMNNP) to address micronutrient deficiencies among pregnant and postpartum women in five priority districts (Jhapa, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Morang, and Saptari). The evaluation of this program has revealed positive results in terms of increased coverage and compliance of iron/ folate tablets among pregnant and postpartum women. In view of this encouraging result, MI has planned to provide technical and financial support in expanding the program in the remaining districts. NTAG provided technical support to implement this program in 72 districts during the period of 2004 to 2011.
4) Female Community Health Volunteer Endowment Fund (FCHV-EF)
FCHVs are true volunteers that have become the vital link between the community and MoHP’s healthcare system. To keep motivation high, NTAG, with GON MoHP has promoted the implementation of an endowment fund consisting of an authorized capital which cannot be spent, with the interest accrued being placed in a separate savings account. The use of this interest will be determined by a management committee for things such as refreshments during vitamin A distribution days, review meeting expenses and other innovative ideas.
5) School to Family Health Program (SFHP)
The School to Family Health Program works to utilize and mobilize school-aged children to aid their FCHV in post-partum vitamin A dosing and to provide education to the children with the aim that it will disseminate to the larger community. NTAG was involved in providing technical support as training to community leaders and FCHVs, IEC material development and supervision and monitoring of ongoing activities at the schools.
6) Decentralization Action for Children and Women (DACAW)
With the aim to enhance the capacity of VFs by providing them a clear picture of DACAW as well as technical knowledge and skills required for efficiently conducting DACAW activities, NTAG in collaboration with UNICEF conducted ‘Village Facilitator Basic Training’ for the participants of 7 districts in 2006.
7) Kala-azar Control Program
With the financial support from Environmental Health Project, NTAG has implemented Kala-azar Control Program in Dhanusa and Mahottari
8) Nutrition Information Sharing Meetings (NIS)
Upon realization of a lack of communication and coordination between organizations and researchers involved in nutrition projects in Nepal, NTAG organized the first NIS meeting in April, 1999. These meetings are held usually every three months and create an opportunity for participants to present and share recent data and information from their works as well as developing a database of experiences in Nepal.
9) Nepal Postpartum Family Planning Project Extension
NTAG with the financial Pathfinder and technical support from Extending Delivery Services has been implementing postpartum family planning project in 5 sites in Kathmandu and 5 sites in Surkhet. The main focus of the project is on healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy and family planning.
10) Action against Malnutrition through Agriculture
NTAG is providing technical support to HKI – Nepal in implementing the project Action against Malnutrition through Agriculture in Kailali and Baitadi. The aim of this project is to develop integrated food security and nutrition district model that can be adopted and taken to scale in other areas of Nepal to reduce malnutrition and morbidity among under 2 years children and lactating and pregnant women.
11) Nutrition Research & Programs
NTAG has become a major partner in research conducted in Nepal.
- In 2009-2013, Study Of The Impact Of Heifer Interventions On The Nutritional Status Of Children was conducted in Nawalparasi, Chitwan and Nuwakot with the funding support from Heifer Nepal.
- In 2009-2011, An Impact Study On Small Scale Fortification Project was carried out in Lalitpur District with the funding support from Micronutrient Initiative.
- In 2009 & 2010, Nutrition Assessment of Children 0-59 Months In The Districts Of Mid & Far Western Regions Of Nepal was conducted in 9 districts under the funding support from UNICEF.
- In 2010, Monitoring Survey For Nepal’s Integrated Pilot Of Infant And Young Child Feeding & Baal Vita Micronutrient Powder Program was conducted in Makwanpur (Health Facility rural distribution model) and Palpa (FCHV Rural distribution model) in collaboration with UNICEF and CDC.
- In December 2002, the Nutrition Intervention Study in Nuwakot district was completed. In conjunction with MoHP, NTAG has provided technical support for intensification of the National Antenatal Iron Supplementation Program.
- NTAG with funding from the Micronutrient Initiative conducted a yearlong Intervention Study to Reduce Anemia among Adolescent Girls in Nepal in the summer of 2003. This research has been to help MoHP develop national policy for treatment.
- To measure the impact of the national deworming program, NTAG and UNICEF conducted an experimental study to investigate the effects of albendozole treatment on hemoglobin level and worm infestation severity. The Deworming Impact Evaluation Study also reported on vitamin A capsule coverage in the study districts independent of the NVAP mini-survey.
- Also in collaboration with UCDavis, NTAG performed a study, Selection of Appropriate Vitamin A-rich Foods for Treating Nightblindness in Pregnant Nepalese Women and Assessment of Fortified Ultra-RiceTMas a Potential Source of Vitamin A that investigated the efficacy of locally available vitamin A rich foods for treating nightblindness in pregnant women versus traditional supplementation methods in Saptari in 2002.
- In 2001 NTAG and UC Davis performed a pilot study, Breast milk Quality and Breastfeeding Patterns among Rural Lactating Nepalese Women to measure the micronutrient content of breastmilk among lactating women in Saptari.
- In 1998, with the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, a qualitative study was performed in Saptari to investigate the perceptions that mothers held regarding iron and anemia. The findings of this study can be found in A Study of Factors Influencing Operational Issues for Iron Supplements for Infants and Young Children