We're helping families improve children's health
Through our ‘Mama en Pikin Welbodi Project’ (meaning ‘Mother and child health project’ in Krio) we have been working with communities to improve the health and nutrition of pregnant women, mothers and children under five in rural Sierra Leone for almost a year now.
Below, we hear from a young father who has been supported to care for his infant daughter.
When Mohamed’s daughter Kadiatu was born, her mother became very unwell. The family turned to traditional medicine and eventually Kadiatu’s grandfather took her mother away for treatment, leaving Kadiatu in Mohamed’s care.
Mohamed explains: “With only my grandmother to support me, I struggled to earn a living and care for my daughter. I became concerned as the baby stopped putting on weight and became weak.”
One of the Community Health Workers trained and supported by our local team realised that Kadiatu was undernourished and advised Mohamed to take her to the nearest health centre. Health Poverty Action has been working with health centres in the region where Mohamed lives, ensuring that staff are trained and equipped to reach and support families in remote villages.
Mohamed continues: “We had to travel over five miles to reach the nearest health centre, using motorbike taxis and crossing rivers by boat. A nurse examined Kadiatu and told me that she was malnourished. She advised me on how to provide a more nutritious diet for Kadiatu and gave me ‘Plumpy Nut’ nutrition supplements to feed my daughter.”
On returning home Mohamed continued to feed Kadiatu the ‘Plumpy Nut’ supplements, but she developed diarrhoea.
Mohamed tells us: “I left Kadiatu with a neighbour so I could go to work, but I wasn’t able to relax knowing she was unwell. I left work early and collected my daughter, so I could take her for further treatment.”
The staff at the health centre were able to treat Kadiatu and ensure she didn’t become dehydrated as she recovered. Our local team supported Mohamed with livestock, supplying him with goats to provide an additional source of nutritious food and income.
Mohamed is grateful for the support his family has received:
“My child is slowly becoming stronger and putting on weight. Thank you for all the help you’ve given us.”
We have already supported over 3000 mothers and over 3000 children to improve their health and nutrition through this project. You can read more about the work we’re doing with communities in Sierra Leone here.
You can sign up to receive regular updates on all our work here.
Once again, on behalf of all the communities we work with, thank you for your contributions.