By William Elijah | Kyangwali News Staff Writer
MCHN literally stands for Maternal and Child Health Nutrition. This is a program that was initiated by Action Against Hunger in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement earlier this year. It ‘s an initiative aiming to cub the problem of nutrient deficiency among children with age ranging from six months to two years. More so, this program benefits malnourished children and mothers that prove to be with severe signs and symptoms of nutrients deficiency, something that leads to diseases like Kwashiorkor, which is a protein deficiency.
In an interview with Ms. Muderhwa Siuzike, a Congolese resident of Mukarange who happens to be a Village Health Team (VHT) member working at Kasonga Health Center II, she revealed to Kyangwali News that this program only benefits those who periodically visit the Health Centers for checkups when pregnant and those who bring their little ones for immunization. Those who qualify, receive 3.00 Kilograms of CSB++ (Porridge flour, also called Sosoma) monthly per person. Ms. Siuzike clarified that a lactating mother is offered the CSB++ right from the time of delivery up to when the baby is six months. This is when this support is now transferred to the baby till it makes two years.
However due to Covid-19 pandemic, the routine distribution system has slightly been changed whereby rather than 3.00 Kg of CSB++ or Sosoma in one month, beneficiaries are being given 6kg at once to serve them for a maximum period of two months. Ms. Siuzike says that this new system was established in order to follow the presidential and Ministry of Health’s guidelines on the prevention of Corona Virus by minimizing on the number of monthly visits at health centers.
Kyangwali News was able to track down two of the beneficiaries Ms. Bonane Josephine and Ms. Uwimana Rahabu, both resident of Mukarange village. The two women greatly thanked the initiator of the program. “We no longer lose our beloved little ones because of poor nutrition; rather they grow up healthy both physically and mentally,” Ms. Josephine remarked. Ms. Rahabu also said that as mothers they also used to suffer from shortage of nutrients but the challenge was defeated to an impressive rate as a result of Ms. Siuzike’s initiative.
Mean while information from trusted source has reached us that some mothers exchange these items for money or alcohol. Fortunately, measures were put in place such as urging the mothers to return the already used bags as proof that they successfully utilized them. This menace was making the program move backward as the victims were not responding as desired making it nearer to impossible to successfully fight against nutritional deficiencies in this settlement.
“We no longer lose our beloved little ones because of poor nutrition; rather they grow up healthy both physically and mentally,” Ms. Josephine, a beneficiary of the program.
It is also important to clarify that this program is not only for those who visit Kasonga Health Center III but also other health centers in Rwenyawawa, Mombasa, and Maratatu amongst others. Therefore, after knowing how impactful this program is to our community, every individual who falls under the desired category is encouraged to visit the nearest health centers from Monday to Friday to see if you qualify for the program. It’s not just about you as a mother, to be precise; it’s about the baby that you are bringing into the world.