Two-years-old and thriving; how Lezuri is overcoming severe malnutrition

Published: Dec 19, 2022 Reading time: 2 minutes
Two-years-old and thriving; how Lezuri is overcoming severe malnutrition
© Foto: Tereza Hronova

Two-year-old Lezuri from Angola no longer suffers from severe malnutrition. Doesn't it sound like great news? It is. Good health will permanently and positively change her life. Malnutrition harms a child's cognitive development and, left unchecked, can steal their future.

Esperança Pereira—a Nutrition Health Volunteer on the PIN implemented Omande Win project—is measuring the hand of a small girl in a blue dress; this is Lezuri. She smiles. The People in Need (PIN) team met her one month ago when she was in poor health. Now, she is doing a lot better. When placed on her arm, the measuring strip no longer turns red—a sign of severe malnutrition. Many children living in Angola's Namibe desert suffer malnutrition. "Lezuri is now developing. She had fallen into severe malnutrition, but now she has improved, and her situation is now moderate acute malnutrition. This means she's recovering," says Esperança.

Community health workers like Esperança are trained in community mobilisation and child malnutrition screening. "When we find a malnourished child, we talk to the mother so that she can follow up on the child's health, and if it is possible, we refer the child to the nearest health post or centre, where the child starts receiving treatment to eradicate this malnutrition," Esperança explains.

In health facilities, children receive treatment for malnutrition. For example, Lezuri ate a peanut-based paste called Plumpy'Nut for three weeks. "I follow how the girls work and how they orientate things in the post, and Lezuri is fine; she is not as she was. She is recovering," says Filomena Tomas, Lezuri's mom.

Malnutrition is the biggest threat to the little ones

In Angola, malnutrition contributes significantly to infant mortality and causes permanent damage to the cognitive development of children and adolescents, which can compromise their well-being and productivity as adults. PIN has promoted malnutrition screenings for children from 0 to 5 years of age and disseminated information about good feeding practices, teaching communities how to make soups and porridges rich in vitamins, promoting breastfeeding and complementary feeding at the community level through communication campaigns for the development of a change in social behaviour.

We aim to reduce hunger, poverty, and food and nutritional insecurity of communities in the municipality of Moçâmedes affected by climate change in the Namibe province, improving the resilience and nutritional situation of agricultural and pastoral communities prone to drought.

The project "Omande Win-Integrated Support to the Water and Nutrition Sector in Namibe", funded by the FRESAN Program, is implemented by PIN in partnership with Action for Solidarity and Development.

This material was created within the 1Planet4All project funded by the European Union.
Autor: Tereza Hronova

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