Malnutrition in the DRC
Malnutrition continues to be a critical health problem in the DRC. According to the 2013-2014 DHS, eight percent of children less than five suffer from acute malnutrition and chronic malnutrition rest at 43 percent. The MOH estimates that 51 percent of the child mortality in Congo is caused directly or indirectly by malnutrition.
“Mado began to suffer when I became pregnant with my new baby, I thought it was a transient sickness like all the others but her health was only deteriorating. One day a neighboring boy who worked at the health center came to see Mado and then he went to give report to the center. Soon after an ASSP community relay came to see the condition of the child. She was not good. They taught me a recipe to make her in order to get her health back as quickly as possible. It was this porridge that I gave her, that of soy flour, corn flour and peanut meal all mixed up and that’s how she recovered her health.”
Maman Mado, Beneficiary of ASSP’s nutrition program, Kasai
Six months later mado was a different child.
Our Approach to Fighting Malnutrition
4,783,498 children have been screened
During the last 3 years of IMA DRC’s ASSP project, the number of children screened who were referred to a health center for malnutrition decreased almost by half, going from 14.4 percent down to 7.9 percent.
Reduction of malnutrition is a key ASSP strategy to reduce morbidity and mortality in women and children under five within the project’s 52 health zones. IMA collaborated with PRONANUT, the National Nutrition Program, to strengthen routine nutrition interventions at health facilities and to increase the capacity of communities to address malnutrition through multi-disciplinary interventions. These interventions were integrated into the community extension programs of the health zones. IMA also supported the integration of nutrition data (both clinical and community) into the District Health Information System. Health zone managers and nutritionists are trained to monitor and analyze the data to track the nutritional status of children in their communities and improve outreach activities.
The project ensured availability and routine administration of three doses of iron and folic acid for pregnant women at the health centers. Over the last four years, the number of pregnant women who have received five doses of iron and folic acid: 1,078,419
Over the last three years, the number of children screened per year by community relays has almost tripled. In Year five, the relays screened 1,609,748 children for malnutrition, comprising 91 percent of the estimated 1,766,508 children under five years old in the 52 health zones.
355,472 malnourished children have received five home visits, 85 percent of those referred.
In 2018, of the 1,609,748 children screened for malnutrition, 123,584 children were referred to health centers with a MUAC reading of less than 125mm. Of those children referred, 95,929 received five home visits from a trained community relay and 78 percent recovered.
ASSP trained health zone staff and nurses in IYCF messaging and home gardening. ASSP trained more than 8,900 community volunteers to screen for malnutrition in children under 5 years of age using MUACs and in infant & young child feeding (IYCF) and home gardening.
Health Staff Training
Through the ASSP project, 1,724 nurses have been trained in how to identify malnutrition and in best feeding practices for infant and young child feeding.
890 health centers have been equipped with anthropometric materials such as Salter scales, infant scales, measuring boards, mid-upper arm circumference strips, reporting forms, nutrition education materials and road to health forms.
More than 8,900 community relay, 1,724 nurses, and 42 community animators trained.
1.43 million pregnant women and children under five have received direct and intensive nutrition intervention.
4,783,498 children screened for malnutrition.
355,472 malnourished children have received five home visits.
1,078,419 pregnant women have received five doses of iron and folic acid.
890 health centers equipped with anthropometric materials.
Real-time data sourced from the DHIS2 data management system on the number of children who completed the nutrition program in ASSP-assisted health areas from 2014 to 2018.
Learn more about how ASSP helped the MOH improve routine health data by implementing DHIS2 in its health zones and beyond.
read more about our work to eliminate malnutrition in the drc
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