Feed the Child and Mother with Health
Malnourishment is one of the principal causes of pediatric hospitalizations in Guijá district and in 2013 caused the highest number of infant mortalities. Poor feeding practices, a lack of diverse diets and low education are sited as the primary causes for malnourishment. The food that is used for feeding children is a corn-based porridge that is served without additional ingredients, making it low in nutrients. For a large population of infants and adults exposed to or living with HIV, a balanced, nutritious diet is essential for health and quality of life. Food demonstrations are an opportunity to empower vulnerable groups with knowledge and skills to improve their dietary practices, reduce their risk of illness and improve their overall health.
This project will help strengthen and expand nutrition education activities within the District by training new Peer Educators and launching a series of new food demonstration and educational talks for malnourished children and pregnant/lactating mothers with HIV. 28 peer educators, from 13 different communities, will undergo a 1-day training session where they will be educated on topics such as hygiene, nutrition, and the links between nutrition and HIV. The Peer Educators will also be provided with basic cooking materials and ingredients and learn how to make enriched porridges and soups.
The project expanded into three additional communities, providing a total of six rural health clinics with nutrition workshops and enriched porridge demonstrations. In each community, HIV positive women participated in interactive discussions about the basics of nutrition and proper diets for mothers and infants with HIV. In the workshops, the women learned how to make enriched porridge to reduce malnutrition among their children. This project empowered vulnerable groups with knowledge and skills to improve their dietary practices, reduce their risk of illness and improve their overall health.
"I agreed to participate today to learn how to make papas. Because I want to see my child grow well." - Edna, 20 year old mother with a 7 month old son
"We'll use matapa and other plants we cultivate like leaves of bean plants to mix into the enriched porridge for our children. My son eats xima, the corn based porridge, with sugar but not greens. Now I will try to encourage him to eat greens with his porridge." - Paineta, 22 year old mother with a 6 month old son