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ACF has been implementing lifesaving projects in Mogadishu for the past 20 years. Nutrition has been at the core of operations targeting Undernourished children and moderately undernourished PLW. From the year 2011 to 2013, the activities have been possible through the support received from DFID. The program adapted both curative and adaptive approach to tacking under nutrition. A total of 18340 SAM children were treated in the program. Other activities that the program undertook included, capacity building of mother attending training sessions, counseling of mothers, linking of mothers to MCH ,health educations and hygiene promotion.
Deqa Abdul Kadir Mohamed is 29 years old, married and living in Mogadishu outskirts. Abdul Kadir is a mother of 6 children and came to the Nutrition feeding center with her last born 11 months old child who was severely acutely malnourished and was admitted in the OTP site. She was also pregnant and expecting the 7th born child in a weeks’ time.
During history taking, Abdul Kadir revealed that all her children had been beneficiaries of therapeutic feeding program treatment (meaning from the first born to the current last born, all her children have suffered from SAM at a point in their life). She also revealed that at no single time in her marriage life had she failed to have a sick child at home. Mostly her children would have diarrhea, cough or stomach pains and fever. She confessed that on monthly basis she visits hospitals for an average of 5 times. A further interrogation revealed that she had never attended any antenatal or postnatal services and she was not aware of their existence.
Due to the unique nature of Abdul Kadir, the nutrition staff analysis showed the need to
After admission of the child to OTP, Abdul Kadir was introduced to a mother to mother support group (MTMSG). She was identified as one of the mothers who needed special attention and support from other mothers. On admission to the MTMSG, Abdul Kadir had an average score of 5% (pretest on basic nutrition knowledge, carepractise and proper hygiene practice). For the period of 3 months when she attended the MTMSG, Abdul Kadir reported amazing improvement on her knowledge, her score during the post test was 78% knowledge gain.
Since leaving the MTMG, Community nutrition workers have been following her to see extent of implementation of the knowledge gained. Abdul Kadir has implemented most of the lessons learnt in the following manner.
Abdul Kadir now is advocating for MTMSG to be formed in the community and she is willing to volunteer to lead one group of mothers.
“It makes me very happy to see my child developing well, I am amazed that I have not visited any hospital for last 2 months, for me this is strange! It is a total life changing experience.
“Since I got married, I have been bringing up children within a challenging context. Most of the support and advice I received concerning childcare was given to me by my peers, who had limited knowledge on proper care-practice. This I came to realize after visiting the ACF site.
“The most fascinating thing about what I have learned and seen is that, most of the practices advocated for are not to be paid for. Exclusive Breastfeeding for example is cheap and free and very readily available. During my stay in ACF site I have received education on the following: importance of EB, importance of Immunization, proper hygiene practices, identification of malnutrition in community, preparation of complementary foods and many more.”
“One thing that I picked and practiced in exclusive breastfeeding, my current child has not been fed on anything since she was born to me. She has never had any diarrhea or illness; this is unheard of in my family.”
“I am currently talking to my peers on the experience and would like to educate more mothers on the same. Have heard that MTMSG (mother to mother support groups) will be started in the community, I am planning to enroll as a facilitator because I have evidence that exclusive breastfeeding works!”