PROVIDING NUTRITION SUPPORT TO CHILDREN AFFECTED BY CYCLONE IDAI IN MOZAMBIQUE

Meet Alexandre, a nutritionist from the provincial health sector in Manica, who has been deployed as part of the mobile outreach teams for the health and nutrition emergency response to support the victims of cyclone Idai, in the district of Matarara.

The training I had has been extremely useful. I and my colleagues are providing health and nutrition services that these children need, said Alexander, who was part of 60 nutritionists and other staff from the Ministry of Health, Mozambique’s Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN) and National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) who received a health and nutrition in emergency training, sponsored by UNICEF.

In just one day, Alexandre has screened a total of 62 children under five using the Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) assessment. He found 6 children with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and 1 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) without complications. I’ve learned that it’s best that we don’t give the therapeutic feeding treatment in front of other children, because the other mothers begin to protest. That is why, when I detect a child with SAM or MAM, I take them to the other side of the school to give them the treatment needed in privacy.

cilcone idai mocambique Luisa Luis and her 9-month-old son Pedro Albino are grateful for the services that are now available for them at the accommodation center of Matarara. (copyright) UNICEF Mozambique/2019/Javier Rodriguez

Luisa Luis, who doesn’t know her age, is the mother of little Pedro Albino who is 9-month-old and was diagnosticated with MAM after the MUAC screening. Luisa is grateful for the services that are now available for her and her 5 children in the accommodation center of Matarara. This is not her first son doing the therapeutic treatment, so she understands easily the instructions that Alexandre is giving her.

The mobile outreach teams are the primary response effort provided by the Mozambican health authorities, with support from UNICEF, to respond to the cyclone Idai relief efforts .

Source: UNICEF Mocambique