Malnutrition is one of the leading causes of childhood mortality worldwide Each year, more than 5.9 million children under the age of five die around the world; 45% of these deaths are attributed to malnutrition. Somalia is among the countries with the highest prevalence of malnutrition in children under the age of five years.
Siteey Hassan is a young mother to a one and a half year old baby boy.She lives in an IDP camp near SAF-UK Dalxiska OTP site area of Kismayo District.
In April 2019, during the regular SAF-UK community nutrition outreach in the IDP camps, SAF-UK community health worker Maryan Mohamed knocked on Siteey’s door. She found Siteey’s son, Ayub in a desperate state. She screened her for Severely Acute Malnutrition and the results were pathetic. Ayub had a MUAC of 10.9,weight 6.2,Height 67.5, Z.SCORE of (<-3). Upon inquiring on the child’s nutrition regime,she found out that he had not been exclusively breastfed for the first six months as his mother got pregnant immediately.
This was partly due to lack of information on family planning methods.
SAF-UK is committed to supporting and guiding mother to mother groups in the camps to remedy this gap.
His parents were then counseled accordingly for enrollment of their child
into the Outpatient Therapeutic Program (OTP) by Maryan Mohamed CHW at their village. They cooperated and Ayub was admitted in the program the following day.
Two weeks later, he was discharged with a MUAC of 11.7, weight of 7.2, 68 of height z.score of <-2. He was then transferred from the OTP program to Supplementary Food Program (TSFP) for an extra week as a patient of Moderate Acute Malnutrition(MAM) under the Himilo team with the Support of WFP.
Meanwhile, his parents were also educated regarding the health and hygiene of the family. They are not only appreciated the efforts and support but also took an oath to practice all the provided guidelines for the wellbeing of their children. They told the SAF-UK team that they are satisfied with the progress of their child and would now breastfeed their new baby exclusively for proper nourishment.
All parents should know how to prevent malnutrition from recurring. Before the child is discharged, we ensure that the parents or carers understand the causes of malnutrition and how to prevent its recurrence, including correct feeding and continuing to stimulate the child’s mental and emotional development. We also educate them on how to treat, or obtain treatment for, diarrhoea and other infections, and understand the importance of regular (every 6 months) treatment for intestinal parasites.