KIHEFO promotes local initiated solutions to fight disease, ignorance and poverty in southwestern Uganda
By Marni Jacobson
Today I spent the morning in the nutrition centre participating in KIHEFO’s monthly nutrition assessments. The last Saturday of every month, KIHEFO holds these assessments where past patients come back for a nutritional check up and undergo measurements, including weight checks to make sure they are improving.
The morning begins with registration. All of the mothers come to KIHEFO’s Nutrition & Rehabilitation Center with their children and they sit on benches, waiting to be checked in. After registration, they progress through multiple stations to check on their nutritional status.
The stations include weight, height, mid-upper arm and head circumference. All the measurements are recorded on a flow sheet so that each month the kids come back KIHEFO can make sure that they are improving.
After all the kids were done being assessed and measured, the Child Family Health Students (CFHI) and I did a nutrition workshop with the mothers. We taught them about five categories of food: energy giving foods, fats/oils, proteins, protective foods and liquids.
We explained that each meal they prepare for their family should attempt to include a food from each category. We created a “mock plate” and asked the women to volunteer to make a plate that included foods from each category. The workshop was really successful and the mothers really enjoyed it; everyone seemed to be extremely attentive the entire time.
After the workshop, all the mothers and children were provided with a hot meal before they left. It was so special to see the children come back [to the centre], improving with each visit, each of them gaining a little more weight and getting a little taller than the last time they were assessed.
Today, the workshop really helped give me hope. Although I know there are so many more malnourished children out there who need medical attention and support, through KIHEFO we are able to help improve a small part of that population, and it is so amazing to see all the progress the kids we have reached have made.
The work that KIHEFO is doing with child malnutrition really is so inspiring to see and they really are making a difference in so many families’ lives.
Marni Jacobson is a 2nd year nursing student at the University of Michigan. She is from West Bloomfield, Michigan. Marni is completing a 6-week internship at KIHEFO through the Child Family Health International (CFHI) partnership. Read more about her nursing experiences at KIHEFO by visiting her blog – “Nursing Gone Global – My Ugandan Adventure”
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