Rwanda

Supporting Community Based Nutrition Program and Growth Monitoring in Rwanda

Angele Uzamukunda is a nutritionist at the Kabuye health center, where she supervises the Community Based Nutrition Program (CBNP) and growth monitoring sessions for children under five from the villages of Kabeza, Nyagasozi, Burizira, and Rebero in the district of Gasabo.

Since August of this year, Global Communities and local partner African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) have been supporting growth monitoring sessions and implementing the CBNP at the health center to give parents and caretakers more knowledge on child nutrition and development. AEE has also been implementing the Positive Deviance Hearth (PD/H) program, which helps families with malnourished children learn the best nutrition practices from other parents in their village.

On September 21, 2016, AEE in collaboration with Kabuye health center conducted a cooking demonstration, in which parents learned how to prepare soya milk and cooked a dish composed of different carbohydrates, spinach, kidney beans and dried sardines. Most of the women attending the session were single mothers, who work as street vendors selling vegetables. “They move from one village to the next and do not have stable lives,” explained Uzamukunda.

In the growth monitoring session, 16 children were identified with moderate malnutrition. These children will attend the PD/H sessions, For 14 consecutive days, the parents or caregivers will participate in cooking demonstrations and nutirion sessions. Then Uzamukunda and her staff will follow up and monitor for adherence to the newly acquired practices at their homes for another 14 days. This process is repeated until children have gained reached the approptriate weight for their age.

“At the health center we already treated three children with severe malnutrition. We treat them with a ready-to-use therapeutic food, a lipid-based paste combining milk, electrolytes and micronutrients, in addition to milk and Sosoma porridge. Once the children are discharged from the health center, they will be referred to the PD/H group, a group in which mothers or caretakers of well-nourished children from impoverished families spread their good nutrition practices to those with malnourished children,” explained Uzamukunda.