On this trip, I was fortunate to join a growth monitoring event where our volunteers were able to practise their new skills after being trained in the classroom, just days before.
Our health volunteers, project staff and teaching assistants from the district health office did a great job directing the stream of families through different stations where children were weighed, measured and had their health checked.
Thanks to generous supporters, we were able to supply all the equipment required for the day including standing measuring boards and scales, hanging basket scales for babies, health record books for each mother to keep, and educational materials and posters. We are also appreciative of the ongoing support provided by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
At the end of the weighing, volunteers also provided nutrition counselling and education to mothers of malnourished children.
I took a moment to watch a volunteer instruct on the local food pyramid featuring insects and small fish for calcium, and frogs, wild rodents and buffalo meat as sources of protein.
While these may not sound appealing to an Australian diet, they are affordable and locally adapted examples of nutritious food that will help children grow strong and healthy.
Healthy children are happier children, able to go to school, play with their friends and achieve their full potential in life!