By Mark Muasa Musyoki & Ben Haggai - Clinic Manager; Health Program Officer
In 2012, the Tabitha Medical Clinic identified hundreds of cases of malnourishment in Kiberan children, which hinders healthy growth of educational, communicative, and social skills. According to the World Bank, good nutrition is also “the first line of defense against numerous childhood diseases, which can leave their mark on a child for life.” With limited resources, the body will always prioritize survival and neglect growth (Sagan and Druyan, World Bank). Given that nutrition is an essential element in the development and overall health in children under the age of five, the Carolina for Kibera team decided to create a nutrition initiative in the Kibera community.
The CFK nutrition centre opened in May 2013 enrolling 35 children into the daily feeding and early childhood development program. It is hoped that in three months the children will be at the approximate weight they should be for their age and that their parents will be well-equipped with knowledge and tools for keeping their children healthy. The center is also working with Community Health Workers (CHWs) to support an additional 140 children in the community, visiting families and supporting the development of the children by sharing information with parents and guardians on nutrition and child development. The nutrition center, called “Lishe Bora Mtaani,” which can be looselytranslated as “good nutrition for the community," hopes to expand its work to reach families in neighboring villages in Kibera. The centre is an integral part of the Community Health Program, which works closely with Community Health Workers (CHWs) and the Tabitha Clinic for medical assessment, treatment and follow up of the children, facilitating referrals and the phasing out of services.
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