Tackling Malnutrition in Afghanistan

Friday 8 April 2016


Hamida is a 35 years old mother. She mother is of 3 daughters and 3 sons. Numan, one of her three sons is suffering from malnutrition. He is 11 months old.  Numan has been suffering from malnutrition for a long time, however, Hamida, did not know her child was malnourished until she was asked to take her child to the clinic and her son was checked for signs of malnutrition. After Hamida’s son was diagnosed with malnutrition, he was referred to Save the Children's nutrition program.

It has been 7 weeks since Numan receiving treatment under Save the Children nutrition program. Numan weighed only 7 kgs when he was admitted to receive treatment and not gaining weight steadily. Since being admitted to the nutrition program Numan has gained one kg.  

Hamida comes to the clinic regularly. She receives counselling on proper nutrition as well as Easy Paste and medication for her son. Hamida and mothers are also trained on preparing healthy food for their children. In small gatherings in the clinic. Mothers learn to make nutritious food and share their ideas with each other.  

Hamida Says” Unfortunately, situation of women in my village and my community is very bad. Most of our children are malnourished and referred to the clinic. The main causes of malnutrition among our children is poor economy and lack of awareness among of women. Women here are don’t know about their rights. They are not allowed to be out of their homes during pregnancy. They cannot even visit the doctor for prenatal. We did not even know about the importance of exclusive breast feeding and the health benefits of colostrum. The main reason that our babies are suffering from malnutrition is that we as mothers do not get proper food, counselling and support of a health worker before, during and after pregnancy."

The situation is getting better because community midwives and community health workers have now received nutrition and gender trainings through Save the Children. They are teaching people about the importance of women’s rights and needs during and after pregnancy and also the importance of proper care and nutrition for children. Community Health Workers are going to each household and asking mothers to go to the clinic for their and their children’s well check.

Hamida adds: “My son is getting better. Before visiting the health clinic, I was worried about my son’s health. It was a dream for me to see my baby growing and thriving. I see my dream coming true. My son is fine and growing in a steady rate. I will continue to go to the clinic to receive all the necessary support and guidance to raise a healthy baby. I am really thankful to Save the Children for implementing this program. Through this project they have saved my child and other children whose are suffering from malnutrition. Without Save the Children we would have lost our children.. I and all women here are requesting from Save the Children to continue their nutrition program so that our children are treated and they lead a healthy life."