Health & Fitness

Children under five & Pregnant Lactating Women are significant beneficiaries to address malnutrition issues

By: Adeel Alvi
SHIKARPUR: It is very tough to incline village women and men to conduct screening tests of Severe Acute Malnutrition [SAM] of their kids and help out to the Pregnant and Lactating Women by giving them Iron Folic Acid [IFA], [This medication is an iron supplement used to treat or prevent low blood level of iron to overcome their malnutrition-related issues] In this regard, I had to face a lot of adversities, because of illiteracy and spent many days to address parents reservations/hesitations but ultimately, with the grace of Almighty Allah, I have overcome all the difficulties; said Khanzadi, a local community health worker of village Seviro.
There are many aspects/reasons including poverty, illiteracy, unhygienic drinking water, lack of balanced food, scarcity of knowledge of how to prevent their kids from malnutrition, and acute shortage of transportation to reach out Outpatient Therapist Program [OTP], therefore SAM cases have been producing for a long time in rural districts of Sindh mainly in District Shikarpur, Ms. Khanzadi added further.
She recalled her success story and said that when I visited the house of a baby Dur Naz daughter of Abdul Razaq Lashari, aged around three years, resident of village Seviro, Union Council Garhi Dakho, Taluka Khanpur of District Shikarpur and found during the routine screening that baby Dur Naz has become a patient of Severe Acute Malnutrition [SAM] and her Mid-Upper Arm Circumference [MUAC] level was 8 and she was advised to refer to Rahimabad Outpatient Therapist Program [OTP] and I utilized my level best to incline the parents of baby Dur Naz, the SAM patient, to take the baby to the nearest OTP, and I got success and the parents took the baby girl to Rahimabad OTP and after necessary tests, the staff of OTP advised starting Therapeutic Food [RUTF], [a full of energy-dense, macronutrient enhanced pastes used in therapeutic feeding] and after the passage of 4 months her Mid-Upper Arm Circumference reached the level of 11 and nowadays his MUAC level is at 12.7 after improving her health, Micronutrient Powder (MNP), nutritional supplements developed to address micronutrient deficiencies in children of age between 6-23 months was also started and all credit goes to Program for Improved Nutrition in Sindh funded by European Union [EU].
Particularly, in village Suviro, the ratio of SAM cases is higher than other villages owing to the above-mentioned reasons, but now when I visit the village, the village women come themselves, for IFA and screening for their kids because of their confidence has increased in team working with Program for Improved Nutrition in Sindh funded by European Union [EU], in Shikarpur.
Program for Improved Nutrition in Sindh funded by European Union [EU], working in Sindh with close collaboration with Accelerated Action Plan, Action Against Hunger, RSPN and SRSO with the full support of Sindh government mainly focusing to improve the nutritional status of under-five children and Pregnant and Lactating Women by addressing malnutrition through provision of effective nutritional services at the community and facility level that meet nationally and internationally recommended minimum standards of care for the population while this program is continued in eight districts of Sindh including Shikarpur intend to provide 100 percent availability of treatment for Severe Acute Malnutrition [SAM] children, with and without complications.

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