Transforming Anyakun’s household in Moroto through the community management of acute malnutrition
Lokut Moses a 24month old boy is a third born child to Anyakun Natee a single motherfrom kadilakeny village, Rupa sub-county Moroto district. Anyakun hadearlier lost her first two children to malnutrition. According to her “the fist two children grow small due tolack of food in her house then just started swelling ( developed odema) and eventually died”. In March 2017 Lokut was identified in the community by theVHT who referred him to loketyakak supplementary feeding (SFP) site which is attached to rupa health centre II.On arrival, Lokut was re-assesed where he was eventually diagnosed with Severe Acute Malnutrition with Odema grade III (SAMO).
Lokut for his SFP visit
Because of the odema grade III, Lokut was referred to Moroto regional referral hospital for Inpatient Therapeutic Care (ITC).Lokut’s mother however had a number of constraints among which were, lack of money and the fact that she had a breastfeeding baby who was just 3 month old by then. Andre Foods International therefore offered transportation and provided basic needs for the one week that Lokut stayed at the hospital.Lokut was referred to OTC for continum. He cured in ITC however, there was no RUTF to manage Lokut in OTC. Because Lokut could not qualify for SFP, AFI decided to manage lokut at his home using a Locally formulated therapy METU-1. Anyakun was trained on METU_1, provided with all the materials ( sorghum flour, sugar, ghee and ground nut powder) and was also provided with a source pan, spoons, a jug, plate and cups as she lacked these basic requirements too. Nakut was as well trained on good Infant and young Child Feeding Practices (IYCF) good hygiene and sanitation and also early childhood development (ECD).
The METU-1 formulation constitutes 6 table spoons of sorghum flour, 4 table spoons of groundnut powder, 4 table spoons of sugar and 1 table spoon of ghee to make porridge for a single serving. The mother was asked to prepare it two times a day and was encouraged to share family food with Lokut. On the contrary she was discouraged from sharing the therapeutic porridge as it was only meant for Lokut.
Lokut had never walked all his life neither had he crawled. He was not receiving affection and was not being carried by his mother either since the mother already had another baby to care for. AFI conducted weekly follow-up visits to Anyakun Natee’s home to ensure that she adhered to the prescription of METU_1 given to her.
During one of the home visits to Anyakuns home ,it was noticed that Anyakun did not know how to attach her 3month old baby to the breast while breastfeeding as a result she received training on appropriate attachment while breast feeding. She was also provided with a broom, watering can, some vegetable seeds and water storage vessels so that she could improve on hygiene and sanitation and her household livelihood as well. Her VHT encouraged her to receive family planning which she eventually did.
Lokut re-assesed before discharge from SFP
By August 2017, Anyakun had a MUAC of 12.5cm (green), was able to stand and was also crawling.
Lokut was then enrolled to the supplementary feeding program for continuum of care using CSB++. During the Nutrition and health education sessions Anyakun, testified to others mother/caretakers about how her son Lokut was able to recover from severe acute malnutrition after use managed him from home using METU-1 and practicing better child care practices.
During the month of August 2017 when Anyakun was enrolled in the supplementary feeding program, AFI in partnership with the UWFP was providing protective rations to all households whose member/members were moderately malnourished. From which Anyakuns household also benefited.
Today Ayakun testifies and volunteers to demonstrate the preparation of Metu-1 to mothers/caregivers of malnourished children and encouraged them to use it whenever they see signs of malnutrition on their children.
A METU-1 demonstration by Anyakun on an SFP day
She also encourages them to practice good hygiene and sanitation and to also play with their children as this is very important for child growth and development. In one of the community dialogues on Nutrition and Hygiene that were held in Anyakuns Village Kadilakeny in Rupa sub-county Anyakun’s father stood up to appreciate Andre foods international and World Food Program for communing to the rescue of his daughter and his community as well. The local council chairperson also expressed his gratitude and requested we keep reaching out to more community members who are going through the same challenge as Anyakun.