By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/KMA Updates.
Kiryandongo, Uganda: Mutyaba Imaam the District Health Officer, Kiryandongo said collective interventions of district leadership, communit and religious with support from partners like Action Against Hunger would be a magic bullet to improve nutrition levels in the district. Some breastfeeding mothers are seen paying attention to facilitators. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
Mutyaba made these remarks during a community dialogue on best breastfeeding practices and dietary feeding behaviors amongst mothers and their babies by Action Against Hunger as part of activities of the World Breastfeeding Week that started on August 1st to 7th, 2022 in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement yesterday.
He mentioned that the district is committed to having a community knowledgeable about different aspects of nutrition say children and maternal nutrition and health in order to address the gaps identified in there.
“Poor nutrition is as a result of many things like community, societal and health factors so with intervention of District Nutritional Coordination Committee that carries out survey on nutrition indicators and the help of line partners like ACF, am optimistic that this can be averted”. He added.
He cited that the bottom line is having nutrition interventions right from Health Centers down to households by empowering Village Health Teams (VHTs) and nutrition focal persons to teach the community on dietary feeding and healthy living.
“For example, a mother who gets antenatal care regularly and produces from a health facility, the first service she acquires is being taught on how best breastfeed her child in order to have good health”. He revealed.
Mariam Akiror the Advocacy and communications coordinator for Action Against Hunger USA-Uganda Mission called on mothers to breastfeed within the first hour of their babies’ life and continue as often and as much as the baby wants.Mariam Akiror the Advocacy and communications coordinator for Action Against Hunger USA-Uganda Mission facilitating community Dialogue in Kiryandongo in Refugee Settlement. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
She asked mothers to breastfeed exclusively for six months as this would help their babies to have good health, body system building as well to enable them grow to their potential.
“Thereafter continue breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods for up to 2 years and beyond but foods or drinks must be rich in vitamin D like eggs, soya porridge, vegetables, grains etcetera”. Mariam advised.
She implored them to continue attending trainings of Care Group Mothers in order for them to keep equipped with best knowledge of breastfeeding their babies maintain and improving their nutrition and related benefits.
Additionally Mariam revealed that under the latter, Women and men are taught on how to grow nutritious food like vegetables and others that help members have dietary diversification and food security under the Optimized Land Use Model (OLUM).
According to World Health Organization, of the 135 million babies born every year, only 42% are breastfed within the first hour of life, only 38% of mothers practice exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months, and 58% of mothers continue breastfeeding up to the age of two years and beyond.
Action Against Hunger USA-Uganda Mission is currently implementing a 3-years Multi-Sectoral, Humanitarian Response to the Deteriorating Global Nutrition Situation Focusing on severely affected crisis contexts in Sub-Saharan Africa project funded by German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) that started on 1st July 2021 to 30th June 2024 in Kiryandongo district.