Overcoming and preventing malnutrition in children under 5 years of age, pregnant women, and nursing mothers. Trainings and extension of the feeding centre in Thiaroye
Why do we help in Senegal?
Malnutrition is the main health problem in Senegal. Children under 5 years of age, pregnant women and nursing mothers are particularly at risk. The problem concerns people living in rural or suburban areas. Although poverty is one of the underlying causes of morbidity and mortality, factors such as high level of illiteracy, lack of access to health care and drinking water, bad eating habits and lack of hygiene all increase the risk of malnutrition.
Among children under the age of 5, a fifth suffer from stunting, a tenth suffer from acute malnutrition and 7 out of 10 children have anaemia. The outpatient clinic in Thiaroye is located in the working-class areas (suburbs of Dakar) where immigrants from the provinces come to work. The infrastructure is very poorly developed and people are particularly vulnerable to epidemics due to the low level of hygiene.
Education plays a significant role in building awareness of healthy eating.
How do we help in Senegal?
In cooperation with the Ursuline Sisters in Thiaroye and the Association of Catholic Clinics in Senegal (Association Nationale des Postes de Sante Catholiques du Sénégal), we carry out activities to overcome and prevent malnutrition in the youngest children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.
We are expanding the health centre in Thiaroye to include a feeding centre as a place for trainings and culinary demonstrations on healthy eating principles. The centre will be capable to host around 400 mothers with children at one time. We train health care professionals and female leaders who will help identify malnourished people in local communities.
We have developed a healthy nutrition brochure including recipes for local dishes that can be made from products bought at nearby markets. Culinary demonstrations on how to prepare healthy dishes according to the recipes from the guide are held in 500 households and in 12 health centres in Dakar and Thies.
The project "Healthy and Locally – Overcoming and Preventing Malnutrition in Children under 5 Years of Age, Pregnant and Nursing Women, Senegal” project implemented by the Polish Medical Mission received financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the years 2019-2020 in the amount of PLN 756,194.
with Senegalese communities
participants of a course
for local trainers in diagnosing malnutrition in children
Senegal 2019, photo: Damian Lemański
Who do we help?
Huleye is slowly recovering, but there are thousands of such cases in Senegal, because the problem of malnutrition is huge. 23 thousand children suffer from severe malnutrition, and 66% of children under 5 years old have anaemia.
Thiaroye is a town about 30 km from Dakar, the capital of Senegal. This is not a place that Poles often think about, but even there, the activity of the Polish Medical Mission is visible. One day, the Project Coordinator, Xymena Dyduch, learned from a dietitian about a child who had recently been a patient in the centre. Her condition did not improve and additional tests were needed, but her parents could not afford them. The PMM Coordinator asked for a meeting with the child's parents. She noticed a woman and a man with a baby in his arms. She learned that the baby was a 2-year-old girl named Huleye, who looked just 12 months old. The child was extremely malnourished, but the cause of the malnutrition was unknown. It was not known if the girl had days of life left or just hours. Thanks to the involvement of the medical staff and the financial support of donors of the Polish Medical Mission, it was possible to diagnose intestinal insufficiency and surgically unblock the bowel. Soon after the surgery, the girl's condition stabilized and her life is no longer in danger.
Who helps in Senegal?
We are one of the few Polish non-governmental organizations that provide medical assistance. We help where the needs are the greatest. Our assistance is long-term – it brings permanent changes in the communities we support.
Polish Medical Mission
Project co-financed within the framework of the Polish development cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.
Association Nationale des Postes de Santé Catholiques du Sénégal
Association Nationale des Postes de Sante was founded in 1967. It associates 75 medical centres in Senegal.
Medical aid. Permanent changes. Local partner.
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