Malezi Bora campaign in Tharaka Nithi County
During the month of May 2016, G.R.A.C.E. Africa collaborated with the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Chuka district to conduct a series of medical camps in the region, where G.R.A.C.E. is implementing a project that supports community Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers.
During the weeklong medical camps, the G.R.A.C.E. ECD Project Officer worked with personnel from the Public Health and Nutrition departments to provide health services to children enrolled in the ECD centers, their siblings and caregivers, and the wider community. Services offered to children included immunization from childhood illnesses; deworming; vitamin A supplementation; growth and development monitoring; diagnosis and treatment of common ailments. The adult population received Family Planning (FP) information and commodities; tips on basic individual and household hygiene practices; HIV Counseling and Testing; and nutritional supplements for Persons Living With HIV and AIDS.
A total of 2,131 children and 115 adults were reached by the end of the medical camps. The medical personnel observed that there was a significant reduction in the prevalence of malnutrition among children in the community ECD centers as compared to last year. This was largely attributed to G.R.A.C.E. Africa’s ongoing feeding programs at the centers and the establishment of kitchen gardens at their households.
Lucy Njau, the Nutrition Officer at the Chuka district hospital, was visibly elated as she narrated her experience during the exercise. “Community members would come to the medical camp centers as early as 8 am to seek health services. This year G.R.A.C.E. Africa’s work in nutrition, Maternal and Child Health has tremendously impacted the Chuka community”, she said.
According to Zainabu Mukami, a teacher in one of the G.R.A.C.E. supported ECD centers, the sustained talks on health and nutrition targeted at caregivers of children has also helped to reduce the rates of malnutrition among children in the centers. “The children’s diet significantly changed as most caregivers have progressively ensured they provided their children with a balanced diet. Locally available foods are now included in the children’s diets with fruits in season”.
We at G.R.A.C.E. wish to sincerely thank our donors, community partners and the County Government of Tharaka Nithi for supporting our efforts to curb malnutrition and ensure that children in Chuka not only survive, but thrive.