Mother to mother support group in Tana North, Kenya

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The Kenya Red Cross Society is implementing an Integrated Community Resilience Building Programme (ICRBP) in Kilifi and Tana River County through funding from the Finnish Red Cross. The project started its operation in April 2016 and will come to an end in December 2018.

The project leverages on the gains, best practices and lessons learnt in the implementation of the Magarini Integrated project funded by the Finnish Red Cross and European Union which ended in March 2016. The project works with 5 community units and approximately 164 community health volunteers. The project is structured in an integrated approach on Health, Nutrition, food security, livelihood, water and sanitation.

The intended overall goal of the project is to contribute to community resilience among the target population prone to and are affected by disasters. The key focus is on increased access to and essential package for health services for the target populations, improved adaptive capacities of communities to impacts of disasters and strengthened KRCS institutional capacity to support community resilience building.

In Tana River County, the project is implemented in Tana North Sub County where 4 community units were identified for implementation of the project activities. The community units include Meti, Biskidera, Dukanotu and Bilibil; the 4 Cus link their services to Bura sub county hospital, Meti Dispensary, Bilbil Dispensary and Charidende dispensary.

Among the activities proposed include Safe motherhood promotions, Community dialogue meetings, community action days, Nutrition enhancement, rolling integrated case management, mother to mother support groups, disaster risk reduction among others.

During the week the project conducted two sensitization exercises for mother to mother support groups reaching a total 39 lactating mothers, pregnant mothers and mothers with young children.

The participants were sensitized on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and immunization and they pledged to provide health talks during maternal child health clinics at the facility level and conduct household visits to disseminate on the importance of infant and child feeding.

“Many childhood ailments can be prevented only if mothers can adhere to exclusive breast feeding of their infants, the breast milk has a lot of nutritional and medicinal value for the infants hence its administration is significant towards the development of the child. Let’s adopt the practice of exclusive breast feeding and give our children the best health” said Mrs. Nyamai, who was one of the Participants.