We have made great strides in Sierra Leone, but our work is not done yet! In collaboration with Project Peanut Butter, ECF is helping to empower mothers to understand malnutrition and assess their children’s health at home.
Through our efforts, mothers in the community will be the primary agents of screening and identifying malnutrition in children. Mothers will be equipped to understand when a child needs care and treatment for malnutrition. By bringing children to clinics early, we can treat malnutrition before it is too late.
How will mothers know when their child is malnourished? Mothers will be trained to identify malnutrition by simply measuring the mid-upper arm circumference, also known as MUAC. They will receive the inexpensive MUAC tape to use at home. Mothers can monitor their children at regular intervals, or whenever concerns arise.
In the next 12 months, we will train mothers throughout the Pujehun district to use the MUAC tape and know when to bring a child to a clinic for care.
This program has been developed based on a successful pilot program called “Mothers Understand and Can Do It” in Niger. Research found that mothers who were trained on taking proper MUAC measurements were as effective as home visits from health workers. Training mothers is a more efficient and effective way to ensure that children receive the care they need as early as possible. This increases the survival rate and decreases the overall cost of care. Support our efforts here.