In the third quarter, we were able to carry out 24 integrated community outreaches and 9 home visits in which we screened for cases of malnutrition, immunized, gave out Vitamin A supplements and deworming tablets to children.
We received 20 cases of malnutrition of which 7 had Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) while 13 had Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM). All these cases were managed at our facility until got well and were discharged.
Cases of malnutrition are still high in Uganda especially among the underserved Urban communities and rural areas. This is due to the high prices of food stuffs and prevailing economic constraints among the parents especially in the urban areas, whereas in rural areas illiteracy and poverty are the primary causes of malnutrition. The children in these households consequently miss out on eating nutritious foods which would have enabled their bodies to be healthy. During the CFU community outreaches and home visits, the community team penetrates the city slums and the rural areas to take services closer to these children so that they also have smiles on their faces.
As stated in the last quarter, the other cause of malnutrition as discovered by CFU was existence of Cerebral Palsy (CP) among some children in the communities. These children are so prone to malnutrition due to the feeding difficulties which are secondary to CP. The team is also giving special attention to these children to enable them to improve their lives.
4 Food demonstrations were conducted in the community and the mothers who had been trained during the previous food demonstrations were leading during the sessions while being supervised by CFU team to assess if they had learnt from what had been taught to them. They were able to group food stuffs according to their food values and to prepare different meals in nutrient-conserving preparation methods. This is of great importance since it builds the confidence of the mothers and makes them practice more of what they teach other.
Baby Rachel a 16month old girl was brought by her teenage mother, in one of the community outreaches. Rachel was still breastfeeding with complimentary feeds. The mother’s main concerns were that her child was not growing as expected, she could not stand, she was so weak and small for her age. The community team screened her for CP and Malnutrition and referred her to Child and Family Foundation Uganda (CFU) medical center.
Rachel was brought to CFU medical Center on 5th August 2022 and the mother narrated her concerns to the doctor including low appetite for food and 7 episodes of diarrhea in 5 days .
On Examination, Rachel was sick looking, not anemic, no dehydration and a clear chest with:
- Respiratory rate of 48b/min
- Weight: 7.1kg
- Length: 71.0cm
- Mid upper arm circumference (MUAC): 11.8cm (Y)
Upon assessment, she was found with Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) and diarrhea
- Blood smear for Malaria which was negative.
- Oral Rehydration Solution was prescribed to prevent dehydration.
- Nutrition counselling message which included:
- The advantages of eating a balanced diet with animal proteins and calcium.
- Procedure of Preparing of a triple mix (Kitoobero)
- Advantages of proper sanitation at home
- Preparation of high energy porridges .
During follow up days as scheduled, the diarrhea subsidized, and Rachel started gaining weight. (7.1Kg, 7.3, 7.7, 8.2, 8.5, and 8.8kg respectively ) and the MUAC also increased (11.8 cm, 11.9, 12.2, 12.5, 12.7, 12.8 and 13.0cm respectively) and now she is very fine and walking.
- Lessons Learnt.
- Involving mothers in activities such as food demonstrations builds confidence among the mothers in communities, and they also turn out to be champions in eradication of malnutrition.
- Home visits ensures follow up of all activities in the community and reduces lost follow up.
- The project is running smoothly as planned and many children are having better health standards and are now living happily.