This report is a brief summary of visits and workshops in the three slum villages in Mavoko Municipality during June and July 2012.
Visits and Data Collected A total of 14 out of 70 centers were visited in the first phase of our Upgrading Program. Six centers in Mlolongo, 4 centers each in Sophia and Bondeni communities. Seven Community Health Workers (CHWs) participated in the visits. Each CHW was responsible for 2 centers in addition to their usual work.
Each center had a total number of 9-15 children. The children's ages ranged from 3 months to 3 years. The total number of children in the 14 centers was 176. Some of the problems reported from the centers are:
- Food insecurity
- Inadequate play material and space to play
- Poor hygiene
- Poor ventilation
- Poor sanitation
- Poor food storage
- Lack of storage containers for dirty clothes
- Uncarpeted cold floors
- Children with bare feet
- Inadequate number of mattresses for children to sleep on
- Shortage of potties
- No program of activities
Action Plan The action plan was to conduct workshops with baby care center owners and hired caregivers as well as parents who were available. Two workshops were conducted in the three villages: one in Mlogongo and the other one combined for Sophia and Bondeni. The theme of the workshop was "Together in Upgrading our Baby Care Centers." The topics presented by the health professionals, assisted by Racheal Nduku, Project Coordinator, in relation to the problems faced in the centers were as follows:
1. Food and Nutrition for infants and babies--- Food safety, food storage, food preparation and feeding, balanced diet from inexpensive locally available foods and promotion of exclusive breast feeding for babies up to six months.
2. Children at baby care centers and their physical and social environment--- Taking care of the center's physical and social surroundings, building good relationships/secure attachments with the children in the center for good cognitive development.
3. Childhood diseases, accidents and injuries--- Signs and symptoms of various childhood diseases, how to prevent them and what to do in case of emergencies, how we can avoid child accidents and injuries in centers.
4. Child health--- Improving centers hygiene and sanitation for the best child health care practices in the centers.
5. Activities and stimulation--- Physical activities and stimulating projects included in the schedule of the center to promote positive early child development and proper time management in the center.
A program was developed in which the participants had the opportunity to discuss in small groups the issues of the baby care centers. The results of these discussions will be included in the next report of the OVC Project in Africa.
Collaborators Special thanks goes to faculty members and students of the Child Development Departments of Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA for their help in participation in this project and consultations in their specific area of expertise.
We want to provide workshps to the staff/parents of all 70 Baby Care Centers in the three slum communities and it costs about $300. per workshop. Therefore, we are asking for funds to conduct 4 more Workshops. As we continue this work we will also determine the needs of each Center to upgrade it with supplies, equipment and modest furnishings.