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Tackling malnutrition conditions through nutritional programme

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Halima Adhan was a happy woman on the day of this interview as her four year-old son, Aftin Mohammed had recovered from oedema after being enrolled for five weeks into the Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTP).

Halima could not help but be grateful for the improvement she had seen in her son.

The Nutritional Officer, Margaret Muli, who is incharge of the OTP programme in IFO 2 West Hospital, shared the recovery progress of Aftin, who on enrollment into the programme, only had a Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) of 13.2 and a weight of 12kgs. His Z Score was less than median, which showed that he had severe oedima. Oedema results from electrolyte imbalance.

During the first weeks into the programme, his weight dropped to 9.7kg and his MUAC was at 12.5, which is normal when a child is recovering from oedima because the weight which was lost was covered by retained water in the child’s system. After the oedima subsided, Aftin had a MUAC of 13.5 and a weight of 12.2 kilograms.

Halima lauded KRCS for working on sensitising the community on nutritional and overall health issues in the IFO 2 refugee camps. She also shared that she has been encouraging her friends and neighbours who have malnourished children to visit the KRCS health facilities so as to have their children enrolled into the OTP Programme.

Halima is just among the many people who have benefited not only from the OTP programme, but also the implementation of the Community Health Strategy where community health workers are trained on health issues. The community health workers not onlydisseminate health information to the community but also support in identifying the severely malnourished children at the community level and assisting the vulnerable people in accessing health services among other issues.

The Programme is currently benefiting more than 3,000 children who are severely malnourished. KRCS has set-up structures in such a way that once a child recovers from severe malnutrition, the child is enrolled in the Supplementary Feeding Programme which guarantees full recovery of the child.