Aheza Community Health Initiative at Work: Improving the Nutrition Status of Children
Many families experienced additional hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including an increased risk of food insecurity for children. Between lockdowns and school closures, childhood malnutrition rates rose in much of Rwanda.
Working in collaboration with community leaders from all 23 health centers in Gakenke District, TIP Global Health identified the children at highest risk for malnutrition in a community of 350,000 people. These children, almost 1,500 of them aged two to five years, were provided 5kgs of Aheza Fortified Food per month for three months. In total, TIP distributed 27 metric tons of Aheza fortified porridge to reach those in greatest need.
By the third distribution (or month 2), utilizing E-Heza Digital Solutions, we were able to track the child’s progress since their baseline (prior to first distribution). At that time, there was a 20% drop in underweight, 40% drop in severe underweight, a 60% in severe underweight. It was decided that any child with wasting or severe underweight will receive an extension of Aheza Fortified Food for 5 months.
Community health workers and nurses worked alongside TIP to ensure smooth delivery of Aheza and the tracking of quality data. Using TIP’s E-Heza Data Solutions, frontline health workers are collecting data on the Aheza recipients on a monthly basis to track against key nutritional indicators. All families that participated were provided with connections to additional services.
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