NGO: Kola and Funke Care Foundation (kafCare Foundation)

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 kafcarenig50@yahoo.com  Bichi and Kumbotso LGA of Kano State, Nigeria.

Improving the quality of life of vulnerable children and families through nutrition education in Bichi and Kumbotso LGA of Kano State

Sa’adatu Umar, a three-year old girl, whose pictures are shone in the picture gallery, was identified to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition in April 2016. She was the first child of her mother who left her in the care of her grandmother Malama Fatima Umar at their home town in Tsaure, Bichi LGA and Kano. This was one of the communities where KAF Care Foundation implemented some nutrition interventions in Bichi LGA and Fatima Umar was one of the beneficiaries of the intervention. It during one of the support group meetings organized under the intervention that Sa’adatu was identified. Her MUAC (Mid Upper Arm Circumference) was 8cm. She was often too weak to sit up for up to 15 minutes and even too weak to chew food. She would lie down with an expressionless face but with pain showing in her eyes. Her grandmother said that hospital tests showed that she was only malnourished, nothing more. She tested negative for HIV/Malaria. KAF Care Foundation referred her to Badume hospital for Plumppy nut and also provided Tom brown care diet to facilitate improvement in her nutrition and health status. Her grandmother, who was her caregiver, was also trained and counselled on household and caring practices to bring her back to good health. She was trained on age appropriate food and food utilization and processing in order to supply Sa’adatu with the desperately needed nutrients. Over the course of three months, Sa’adatu improved to the extent that she could sit up for a relatively much longer time than before and her skin took on a healthier hue, though her MUAC did not increase. It was evident that malnutrition had taken its toll on her and that only a miracle could save her. However, to everyone’s shock and pain, she died at about that time- our intervention came a little too late. There are many of such children in these communities who are getting malnourished, some in the same state as Sa’adatu was when KAF Care Foundation identified her while many others are in worst states- barely clinging to life. Malnutrition is a scourge in these communities hitting almost every age group but especially having fatal consequences on the children, mostly under-fives. Such children who survive this stage grow into stunted adults with a high probability of having low birth weight (and stunted) babies who in turn will grow into stunted adults; and the circle continues because the effects of malnutrition easily perpetrate across generations. KAF Care Foundation seeks for funds to bring aid and knowledge to 1,600 VC and 400 caregivers within 24 months in such communities, conduct capacity building and mentorship to households and community structures, to save lives which could (and will) be needlessly lost if nothing is done. The sum of –N-9,990,000 ($27,516.13) has been estimated for this project. Interventions are presently being implemented but a lot more needs to be done. And more resources and funds are needed. One-on-one counselling with caregivers, observations and research have shown that there is very poor caring practices and wide spread ignorance on food utilization and processing in these communities. Caregivers lack knowledge on the signs and symptoms of malnutrition hence the high number of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in the communities. Those who can Children born under the watch of our officers were initiated into exclusive breastfeeding and after 6 months of life, were introduced to complementary feeding with adequate diets. The results- due to close follow up and monitoring- were excellent. The project is a nutrition and economic empowerment project which aims at improving the nutritional and economic status of households. The project will focus on household nutrition with particular emphasis on children under 5 years old. Nutrition impacts on growth and development at all stages of human life and is the core focus of the project. Economic buoyancy however inevitably determines the nutritional status of every household. The project will, at every level, recognize all stakeholders’ position and potential contribution to its success and continuity. From the State to LGA and Ward levels down to community level, advocacy will be conducted to facilitate networking, partnership and collaboration with stakeholders to whom referrals and consultations will be made when necessary. Direct project beneficiaries are key players in deciding interventions and tailored services to be implemented/provided. These decisions will be taken with expert advice and collaboration with project Officers for the best possible outcomes and the achievement of the project goal(s). Each household will be involved in drawing a plan (care plan) of actions to be carried out by them and/or project officers to bring about improvement in the household’s situation in areas of nutrition, key household practices and economic activities. These plans will be updated to reflect current situation in comparison with the set objectives in each area, and on attainment of the objectives and overall goal the household will be graduated from the project having become ‘stable and resilient to withstand and bounce back from shocks in the future’. The project will build the capacity of households with proper practical demonstrable knowledge on food utilization and processing to meet the various nutritional requirements of each household member, build them on preventive, curative and rehabilitative nutrition and health measures/practices against malnutrition, particularly as it affects under 5s. It will also provide follow up and mentorship for existing cases of malnutrition in households with focused intensity on malnourished under 5. The project will incorporate Household economic strengthening interventions to build the households’/caregivers’ capacity to earn income to meet the needs of the households, particularly their nutritional needs.


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