The El-Nino induced drought that hit the Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe which has left 4.1 million people hungry. Many people did not harvest well whereas the majority rely on their agricultural outputs for their day today lives. Due to limited food there have been reports of malnutrition affecting mostly children.
In response to the drought ActionAid Zimbabwe in partnership with the World Food Program and the Ministry of Health and Child Care have introduced the Management of Acute Malnutrition programme (MAM). The programme entails the provision of porridge known as super cereal blend porridge to young children between 6 months and 59 months. The porridge is highly nutritious.
The children go through a series of screening where the local clinics working with their local Village Health workers screen young children for their height, weight and mid upper arm circumference (MUAC). The children with a MUAC between 11,5 cm and 12,4cm are automatically made recipients of the super cereal blend as they are malnourished under the MAM program requirements.
The MAM program is reaching out to all the 27 health centres in Nyanga District with a case load of 1086 children between 6 months and 59 months. The programme runs for a period of 4 months from December 2016 until March 2017.
With a great smile on her face, Portia Simba (30) walks to receive her ration of super cereal porridge for her child at Sabvure Clinic in Ward 10 of Nyanga District in the Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe .
Portia, a mother of three is one of the mothers who are receiving super cereal for her child who is under the MAM programme. Portia’s child has acute malnutrition and will be receiving a ration of 6kgs of the super cereal blend porridge every month for the duration of the program.
Portia says she is grateful towards the provision of the porridge to her child.
“I am so happy that my child can now have something to eat because as a mother I was failing her. As a family we would only afford 2 meals a day with maize meal porridge in the morning and sadza and vegetables in the evening. My baby was not getting enough food and she became malnourished”, she said.
Now with the provision of the super cereal blend porridge she can now have surplus as she will not just eat twice a day, said a jovial Portia.
Children receiving the super cereal will have 200g of porridge twice a day in the morning and evening to complement other meals hence transforming from being nourished to healthy babies. The porridge is being distributed at local health institutions.