Plates and Spoons to Tackle Malnutrition in Malawi

    GovernanceDisaster ManagementPlates and Spoons to Tackle Malnutrition in Malawi
    - Advertisment -

    Plates and Spoons to Tackle Malnutrition in Malawi

    After Cyclone Freddy ravaged Malawi, displacing families and threatening communities with malnutrition, a locally promoted project, Chithando, a offering cooking lessons and special plates, empowers communities to feed their children nutritious meals.

    By Charles Pensulo

    Plates and spoons designed to help people better feed their children are helping reverse malnutrition in the wake of Cyclone Freddy in Malawi.

    Cyclone Freddy devastated Malawi in March 2023, impacting over 2.2 million people and displacing around 600,000 individuals who sought refuge in over 700 overcrowded camps across the country.

    Malnutrition contributes to an estimated 23 per cent of deaths of under-five children each year in Malawi, according to Unicef – the UN agency for children. Natural disasters like Cyclone Freddy impact on the ability of displaced people to access nutritious foods.

    To effectively respond to the impact of Cyclone Freddy, Unicef supported the Ministry of Health in Malawi to screen 2.4 million children for acute malnutrition.

    - Advertisement -

    They identified and treated over 25,000 children for severe acute malnutrition and educated almost half a million caregivers of children aged up to 23 months on better infant and child feeding practices.

    Workers also provided iron and folic acid supplements to more than 54,000 adolescent girls to prevent anemia.

    John Kadulila, a local promoter of the project – known as Chithando – from the Nsanje district in Malawi, highlighted the significance of the feeding and learning sessions, where parents with malnourished children in villages come together to participate in cooking lessons.

    Plates and spoons

    The sessions involve preparing special meals using maize, groundnuts (peanuts), pumpkin leaves, and eggs. Specially designed plates and spoons with metrics and labels assist parents in following instructions for meal preparation.

    Kadulila told SciDev.Net that while some parents do not have enough food in their homes, other just need to be taught to prepare balanced meals.

    He said the specially designated plates show what type of food should be given to various age groups, the frequency, how to clean the plates, a picture of six food groups and a special spoon to show how thick the porridge should be.

    “The sessions have proved essential,” said Kadulila. “It has turned into an oasis for many families facing food insecurity.”

    Grace Takomana, the health, nutrition and gender focal person for the Hunger Project-Malawi, implementing the Scale UP Nutrition project, said the complementary feeding and learning sessions significantly reduced the risk of malnutrition and have also proven to treat moderate acute malnutrition.

    Takomana said that the intervention takes 12 days to kick in.

    “It starts with a nutrition screening exercise for admission into the feeding and learning sessions,” she said.

    “It is then followed by cooking demonstrations, feeding sessions and subsequent nutrition assessments to monitor changes in nutrition status.”

    When the weight of her baby drastically dropped following the floods – which wiped out her possessions, including crops at the farm, Lucia Samikuta, one mother, struggled to feed her five-month-old baby who was getting malnourished.

    Samikuta told SciDev.Net that the Chithando project – the food and the lessons – have assisted her in managing the condition of her five-month-old baby.

    “I think after 12 days, the child will be fine,” she said, smiling while feeding the baby from the yellow plate. “I am very confident about that.”

    This piece has been sourced from SciDev.Net

    Image: GovernmentZA (CC BY-ND 2.0 DEED).

    - Advertisement -


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Latest news

    Alliance for Global Good – Gender Equity and Equality: Logo and Website Launched

    The Alliance is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and anchored by the CII Centre for Women...

    SDGs in Asia – Mind the Widening Gap

    Asia Pacific now seriously lagging on all 17 SDGs. The region is reversing on climate action, stagnant on clean...

    Climate Change will Further Strain the Resilience of Small Farmers

    The unsustainable nature of farming operations and the escalating climate change have worsened the situation of the Indian farmer....

    Pakistan’s Election Outcomes Leave Many Unhappy

    Given these constraints, and the near impossibility of holding physical rallies, PTI used online opportunities. Khan kept up a...
    - Advertisement -

    Security Council Hears Gaza Famine ‘Almost Inevitable’ Unless Aid is Massively Scaled Up

    Some Council members proposed action plans to potentially end hostilities beginning with an immediate ceasefire and hostage releases while...

    Universal Connectivity Gets a $9 Billion Private Sector Boost

    ITU has called for $100 billion in overall investments by 2026 to provide the expertise and resources required to...

    Must read

    Alliance for Global Good – Gender Equity and Equality: Logo and Website Launched

    The Alliance is supported by the Bill & Melinda...

    SDGs in Asia – Mind the Widening Gap

    Asia Pacific now seriously lagging on all 17 SDGs....
    - Advertisement -

    More from the sectionRELATED
    Recommended to you