#MISSIONOFHOPE – A TESTIMONIAL FROM SOMALIA
Of all the experiences that drive us forward in our work at MOAS – whether that’s supporting training in Bangladesh or shipping food aid to countries affected by severe humanitarian crises including Yemen and Somalia – hearing people describe the vital impact of our activities on their lives is always the most inspiring.
This week we are glad to share a success story from Somalia where, thanks to our shipment of nutritional aid that arrived to Mogadishu in September, our in-country partners International Medical Corps Somalia are distributing nutritional aid supplements to children, women and men affected by Moderate Acute Malnutrition. Thanks also to our supply partner Edesia, we shipped 1,495 cartons of Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food Plumpy’Sup™.
The situation in Somalia continues to be critical, with an estimated 5.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2020, as a result of decades of drought, flooding, displacement, poverty, and ongoing conflicts. Food security remains a major concern. Currently one in seven Somali children under 5 are already acutely malnourished, and the situation is deteriorating quickly. Urgent nutrition support and treatment are required for 849,900 children under the age of five years who will likely face acute malnutrition through August 2021, including 143,400 who are likely to be severely acutely malnourished.
MOAS works with International Medical Corps to provide integrated interventions to support recovery and prevent the deterioration of the nutritional situation.
Hawo and Nurta’s story
Hawo, 29, lives with her husband and four young children – two sons and two daughters in Isha village in Baidoa town, Somalia. After losing her job, Hawo was no longer able to provide her family with three daily meals. Instead, they had to get by on just one or two meals a day.
“When I was working, I was able to feed my children three times a day, but since I lost my job, it is challenging because my husband’s earning is not enough to meet all our needs,” Hawo explained.
Her youngest child, Nurta, just 14 months old, started to fall sick.
“My child was unwell and was losing weight, so I brought her to the health facility for assessment,” said Hawo.
Nutrition staff at the International Medical Corps facility screened and assessed Nurta and found she was suffering from moderate acute malnutrition and mild watery diarrhea. Based on Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) criteria, Nurta was admitted to a Target Supplementary Feeding Programme (TSFP) for treatment to receive the Plumpy’Sup™ and her diarrhea was also treated.
Hawo and Nurta continued to visit the IMC health facility on a bi-weekly basis for monitoring and follow-up. Hawo received Infant and Young Child Feeding counselling and information on Nutrition, Hygiene and Health Promotion practices, including handwashing, food hygiene practices, seeking medical care and support to ensure that her children are taken to the facility for immunizations. Nurta was treated for two months and was discharged from the TSFP programme after meeting the MUAC criteria for two consecutive visits.
“I am so excited … after hearing that my daughter recovered from malnutrition, and I hope she will grow well and become a useful person in the community,” said Hawo.
Hawo was also among the caregivers and mothers whom International Medical Corps trained as part of the Family Mid-Upper Arm Circumference initiative, an alternative screening approach that allows family members to be actively involved in their children’s health and nutrition status and helps community members detect malnutrition early.
“I have learned how to keep an eye on the nutritional status of my children using MUAC … and I was also taught about danger signs and when to bring a sick child to the hospital. I also acquired knowledge about breastfeeding and properly feeding my children so that they can grow healthy. I cook and store food, [and know] how to ensure water is clean and safe for drinking by either boiling or using purifying chemicals (Aqua tab), as well as environmental hygiene so that the house and surrounding areas should be clean to protect my children and ourselves from getting ill,” says Hawo. “Thanks for your great assistance when I needed it. International Medical Corps is our close friend at all times.”
“International Medical Corps is grateful to Edesia and MOAS for the support that makes it possible for our teams to provide nutrition and healthcare services in Somalia, and we look forward to your continued support of our mission.”
Stories like Hawo and Nurta’s in Somalia make us believe that what we do can really make the difference in this world. We are grateful to all our partners who help us implementing our work and most importantly to all our donors and supporters, who are the ones who make all this possible. If MOAS will continue shipping aid to countries in need it will be thanks to all those who choose to support us, in any possible way, to make sure that there will be plenty of stories like this one.
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