Angela lives in a remote Kenyan village. Several months ago she brought her infant son Muli to a health center because he was ill. Angela was told that Muli was severely underweight and in need of treatment for his malnutrition, so she was given the food supplement Plumpy’nut. A follow-up visit was recommended, but Angela was unable to return due to the long distance from her home to the health center and lack of transportation. When she ran out of the Plumpy’nut, Muli’s weight faltered and he became ill again. Fortunately around that time the Global Health Partnerships (GHP) team conducted an outreach clinic near her home. Angela walked to the outreach clinic with Muli, and the child’s assessment indicated that he was suffering again from malnutrition. He was enrolled in the GHP therapeutic feeding program and Angela was given a supply of the food supplement for him. Muli was also treated with antibiotics for infection. This time Muli’s treatment will more likely be successful because the community health worker (CHW) for her village will follow-up on a home visit to be sure that he is recovering, and to replenish the supply of the therapeutic food supplement. The CHW will also be counseling Angela and other mothers of her village about proper child feeding practices and hygiene to prevent infection.
Therapeutic feeding programs have been shown to be highly successful in the treatment of child malnutrition. But access to this treatment is difficult for many of the poorest families who live in remote villages. The GHP outreach clinics and the community-based CHW program provide the vital services that these families need.
In the three months (August through October 2015) since the last report, 274 children were seen in the GHP outreach clinics, and 17 of them were treated for moderate or severe malnutrition. The children were weighed and measured to assess their growth and immunizations were given.
In addition to the outreach clinics, 24 families are enrolled in the GHP program of feeding the poorest and receive a monthly food ration.
GHP strives to provide evidence-based solutions for the problem of child hunger and malnutrition in Kenya. Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. What do you consider most interesting? Are there aspects of the program for which you would like more detailed information?
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