Improving health outcomes through effective service delivery

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Story summary:

Kevin*, 1 year old, is the youngest of six children and lives with his family in Mahama Refugee Camp. His father, Antoine and his mother, Beatrice, are Burundian refugees living in the Camp since 2015.  When Kevin was 3 months, he had a digestive disorder, which affected his growth and his weight gain. His mother struggled with breastfeeding, and had limited knowledge on alternatives to healthy child nutrition practices. This further put Kevin at risk for Malnutrition.

When Kevin, was born, he was always sick every other day. He sometimes refused to breastfeed and as a result, he started losing a lot of weight. – Beatrice, Mother

During a monthly growth monitoring at the community level in 2021, Community Health Workers visited the family and screened Kevin for malnutrition and he was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition.  Kevin was later taken to Save the Children Health Center in Mahama camp for treatment. Beatrice was provided with Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and other nutritious food to feed her child as well as medical treatment to Kevin. It took Kevin three months to fully recover.

Save the Children conducts regular follow up home visit to Kevin’s family to ensure his mother is following treatment guidelines. The family has also gone on to establish vegetable garden in their compound further helping improve their nutritional status.As a result, Kevin’s weight has increased from 5kg to 7 kg, and his Middle Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC), from 11cm to 13 cm.

Through the nutritious food and a feeding program, Kevin is now looking healthy. He no longer suffers from digestive disorders or other health issues, which is important for his growth and development– Beatrice

Save the Children Health Center and Community Health Worker play an incredible role in Mahama Camp. Without them, Save the Children could would not easily identify and follow up on children with malnutrition.


Background / Project information

Save the Children has been implementing the community management of acute malnutrition program (CMAM), micronutrient deficiency prevention program and infant and young feeding program (IYCF) since 2016 in Mahama Camp.  Children, who are malnourished, are provided with Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and Ready to Use Supplementary Food (RUSF).  So far, 629 children admitted with Severe Acute malnutrition, have received RUTF and 4,702 with Moderate Malnutrition have received RUSF.

In Addition, Save the Children organizes different cooking demonstration sessions with mothers like Beatrice aimed at teaching them to prepare a balanced diet for their children. We are training Mother leaders on maternal-infant and young child nutrition and best practices. Mother leaders then conduct cooking demonstration sessions in the community. At least 3,212 mothers have positively improved their knowledge on good nutritional practices through the cooking demonstrations in the camp. Households have gone on to establish vegetable gardens in their compounds improving the nutritional status of women and children.

As part of our nutrition services in Mahama camp, Save the Children is providing nutrition training on the importance of a balanced diet to communities. According to the Standardized Expanded Nutrition Survey by UNHCR and WFP in 2016, child stunting rate was 37% in Mahama camp. Since 2016 Save the Children is working to reduce and prevent stunting among children under 5 years old. As of 2021, the stunting rate in Mahama Camp has decreased to 24% and an increase in general knowledge on hygiene and food safety practices.