BY JOHNISANI OCAKACON
OMORO: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2021
Omoro District has partnered with the International Potato Center (CIP) to train mothers on skills of preparing complementary feeding as an initiative to fight malnutrition among children and mothers.
These are groups of mothers with cases of child malnutrition in their families that have been selected to form a group of Healthy Living Club.
The group comprises 30 members, giving them knowledge on preparing complementary feeding using available staple food grown locally.
Evelyn Akello, the in-charge Awoo Health Center II, while meeting these mothers during a training session in Akidi Sub-County said that the initiative was focused on fighting malnutrition among children and improving health of mothers.
She cited some of the ingredients used as millet flour, cooked orange-fleshed sweet potato, groundnut or simsim paste and milk to prepare and give to children.
“As health workers managing health units at the grassroots level, we have been having cases of malnutrition among young mothers and children who attend health services in our unit,” she said.
Akello attributed the problem to poverty, saying that parents are unable to provide the required balanced diet to children as they continue to feed them mainly on cassava and beans.
“It’s important for pregnant mothers and children to eat food that contains both vitamins and proteins to build their body immunity to respond to diseases,” she noted.
Joshua Okonya, a crop agronomist with CIP, the organization that is promoting growing of orange-fleshed Sweet potatoes in Omoro District, said health workers have been trained to help mothers get knowledge on preparing complementary feeding to fight malnutrition in communities.
“We have learned that there is a serious problem of lack of knowledge by mothers on how to prepare meals for children. This causes high levels of malnutrition among children leading to high mortality rates among infants,” he said.
He said the intervention is to train caregivers, Village Health Team and mothers to enhance welfare of locals where they live.
“Our focus is to reduce vitamin A deficiency in the community where we encouraged them to grow sweet potato which is rich in Vitamin A as one of the components in the diet.”
Lillian Wanican, the acting District agricultural officer added that Omoro district does so well in so many crops that yield very fast like soybeans but unfortunately people grow it for commercial purposes.
“As production department we need to increase food production by ensuring there is food security in every household to wipe out the vice of malnutrition” she said.