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CHILDFUND INTERNATIONAL: Nutritional Education and Growth Monitoring for Mothers and Children

Fanta (39) attends a monthly growth monitoring session and nutritional seminar with her daughter, Salimata (8 months). Salimata used to experience moderate malnutrition but has gained weight since she started attending the sessions and seminars. “She was not sick, but she was very skinny. She was suffering from malnutrition. Now, since I started giving her this flour her weight has improved. God’s will was done. Her weight has really improved,” says Fanta. ChildFund’s nutritional outreach program in the city of Ziguinchor, Senegal, starts with an invite for community mothers with children ages 5 and under to attend a nutritional seminar and growth monitoring session. Here, in the lower-income parts of the city, parents are constantly busy with odd jobs to keep up with high rent and food prices. Inflation has been especially hard on families in Senegal, a country that imports about 70% of its food. Thus, parents often look to the cheapest processed food off the shelf to fill their children’s stomachs. At the regular nutrition sessions, knowledge and recipes are shared by a nutritionist, along with a meal, and mothers walk away with ideas on how to cook with local ingredients and prepare healthier foods for their children while on a busy schedule. Through regular growth monitoring sessions, where trained volunteers examine and weigh children, mothers can keep an eye on their child’s physical development; the volunteers refer the most severe cases of malnutrition to the formal health care system. Today’s meal included a peanut, moringa and millet sauce served over a bed of rice.

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ChildFund International

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