Transforming Child Nutrition through Follow-Up and Counseling: A Case Study in Triveni Municipality, Rolpa

Transforming Child Nutrition through Follow-Up and Counseling: A Case Study in Triveni Municipality, Rolpa

In Triveni Municipality, Rolpa, lack of knowledge on proper nutrition can lead to malnutrition, even in literate households. This issue became evident when Mr. Ganesh Gharti Magar, a nutrition facilitator from POSHAN SUDHAR, met Ms. Anju Khadka Oli during the 2nd session of PLA LANN+. During the session, Ms. Oli brought her 26-month-old baby girl, whose nutritional assessment revealed that she weighed 11.5 kgs with a MUAC of 12cm, as reported by Mr. Ganesh Gharti Magar.

Ms. Oli’s husband was working in Malaysia, leaving her to manage her household responsibilities, leaving her with limited time to breastfeed her child. She also worked as a primary teacher in a public school, requiring a daily two-and-a-half-hour walk. Her busy schedule and rush to work often resulted in inadequate cooking, with her child mostly being fed rice with black tea, or packed noodles and biscuits for lunch. Despite her knowledge as a teacher, Ms. Oli struggled to provide her child with proper nutrition, a situation shared by many other parents in the village.

Upon discovering that her child was suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), field staff recommended that Ms. Oli seek further counseling and a check-up at the nearest health post. Ms. Mira Thapa, the health post-in-charge, assessed the child and provided vitamin A, Albendazole, and counseled Ms. Oli to avoid feeding her child junk or processed foods, emphasizing the importance of home-cooked meals. Field staff Mr. Magar also encouraged her to prepare locally available, nutrient-rich foods that were easily accessible. He maintained regular contact with Ms. Oli, offering simple methods to prepare diverse and nutrient-rich meals. Ms. Mira Thapa mentioned the plan to officially open an Outpatient Therapeutic Care (OTC) and Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) in the Rural Municipality to better assist malnourished children and their parents.

Ms. Oli’s child was enrolled in the NERP camp, which included 14 days of nutrition education classes and continuous follow-ups regarding food intake. At the end of the NERP camp, the child’s weight had increased to 13.5 kg at 27 months, with a MUAC of 13.5 cm. In just one month after the camp, the child gained 1.5 kg and transitioned from Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) to a normal case. Mr. Magar continued to support Ms. Oli, encouraging her to maintain breastfeeding while introducing complementary feeding and monitoring the child’s weight gain.

As a member of the PLA LANN+ group, Ms. Oli actively participated in meetings, sharing her experiences and newfound knowledge with other members. She emphasized the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for 1000 days and appropriate complementary feeding after a child turns six months. Ms. Oli also extended her experiences and knowledge to the wider community, including her students at the school.

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