In the East of Chad, the health center of Abougoudam village has been enrolling women in nutrition programmes over a couple of years, teaching them good nutrition practices to follow. We have met with some of these women, who participated in this training when it started, to see whether their habits have changed as a result of these sessions.
In Chad, 14% of children are suffering from global acute malnutrition (SMART 2017). This is due to several determinant factors like inadequate practices and social norms in terms of nutrition, hygiene, sanitation and health, including postnatal care.
“Since I participated in the nutrition programme, I have given birth to Mariam, who is now 9 months old. My oldest son, Soumaine, and herself are in a very good health and don’t get easily sick because I pay more attention to their hygiene.” Kaltouma Hassan, 40
“Kaltouma is now healthy. When preparing her meals, I try to use porridge and beans which contain vitamins. I apply everything I learned in the nutrition program to protect my child’s health, including hygiene practices such as handwashing with soap.” Fatima Mohamat, 20
“Thanks to the nutrition programme, I changed my family diet. Before I didn’t know that not washing your hands or not giving certain types of foods could have a negative impact in the health of my child.” Kaltouma Hamra, 24
“Many things have changed since this photo was taken. Zahara, my daughter, has been growing up well, she has never experienced other major health issues. Now, I breastfeed her and do all my best to keep a good hygiene to protect her health.” Halime Zene, 22
“As you can see, Amsaden is growing up very healthy thanks to the nutrition advice I received. To prevent her newly-born baby-sister Zaineba from malnutrition, I plan to exclusively breastfeed her during the first 6 months and then feed her with healthy food.” Kalsoum Ahmat, 21
Thanks to the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department of the European Commission (ECHO), UNICEF supported 684 health centers and the capacity building of 1,083 health workers consequently increasing its response to the nutritional crisis in Chad.
ECHO-support is part of an integral approach to strengthen Chad’s health system and better the response to the nutritional crisis in the country.
The Government of Italy also stepped up with a generous support to the emergency nutrition programme, allowing the purchase and delivering of Ready To Use Therapeutic Food -RUTF and medicine to support nutritional assistance to the refugees in the camps in the East of Chad, as well as training of 24 members of the management teams of the regions on Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI).