The Young and Older Persons Integrated Development Program in Africa (YOLIDA) is embarking on improving the nutrition status of children and mothers through conducting nutrition counselling and education as well as food demonstrations in Bunyangabu District.
YOLIDA is an indigenous Non-profit Organization which aims at enhancing health care systems, improving nutrition and advocating for the Welfare of children, youths and older persons in Uganda, for their well-being to achieve a happy and long life.
This followed a number of nutrition outreaches that YOLIDA has conducted in the districts since 2016 as one of its core activities on promotion of Integrated Health Services, in which it was discovered that a large section of the community is ignorant about nutrition, contributing to their vulnerability to numerous diseases and stunted growth especially among children and pregnant mothers.
While in an interview with YOLIDA Program Manager, Mr. Gabriel Magezi, he stressed that people in Bunyangabu and Kabarole were faced with the problem of malnutrition despite the districts being a food basket for the country.
“People have the food but they need to be educated on how to use it. We identify a village which has nutrition issues and with the help of local leaders and Voluntary Health Teams, we advertise the food demonstration outreaches. People gather and with our guidance, they participate in cooking and mixing the locally available foods to produce better food values. The food is prepared in the field and women participate in the preparations. At the end, we all eat the food together,” he said.
Mr. Magezi added that the program team works hand in hand with nurses and nutritionists from the health centers in the district to administer food nutrients that are medically composed especially to the grossly malnourished children. The grossly malnourished are also referred to the health centers for further management.
YOLIDA makes a follow up for the clients who have been given nutrition education and also those referred for further management to monitor the progress.
It is remembered that in 2016, 5 nutrition counseling sessions were organized at YOLIDA. During the five sessions, 117 mothers brought their children for routine immunization. 1 nutrition follow-up was conducted to monitor 20 severely malnourished children in Kahondo, Lyamabwa and Nyabuhuka villages, who had been referred to Kibiito Health Centre III for further management.
This intervention in form of nutrition counseling and education has resulted into demonstrable improvement in the nutrition status of children who initially suffered from severe malnutrition.
Mothers were able to select nutritious local foods and prepare them well for their children, which significantly reduced malnutrition in the target villages.