This is Satar's second visit to the health house and he is showing tremendous improvement!
When he first came in March 2014, he only weighed 5.8 kilos and his Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) was only 11.8cm -- which meant he was at risk of severe acute malnutrition (in photo). A month after receiving WFP specialized nutritious food, Satar's weight increased to 6.3 kilos and his MUAC became 12.1cm.
Although agriculture and animal husbandry are the main livelihood in Tharparkar District in Sindh province, the people living in the area do not produce enough food and are constantly affected by recurrent natural disasters such as drought. As a result, Tharparkar is identified as one of the most food-insecure districts in Pakistan.
Unusually low rainfall has substantially affected the food security and nutrition levels of families - especially of vulnerable children - living in Tharparkar. WFP, together with WHO and UNICEF, are working together to treat severely malnourished children like 9-month-old Shoaib.
Established within communities, health houses are run by the government's women health workers and give females, who cannot afford to travel to cities, the option to avail of health-related services. WFP, in partnership with the government, UNICEF and WHO, is supporting the implementation of a nutrition programme, through health houses, to address acute malnutrition in children aged 6 to 59 months and pregnant and lactating women in Tharparkar District.
WFP's NGO partners such as the Shifa Foundation conduct information sessions with communities about the nutrition programme. At present, the number of Union Councils (towns) receiving nutrition intervention has increased from the original 6 to 20 and will eventually cover a total of 44 Union Councils. WFP aims to provide nutrition assistance to nearly 31,000 children and over 28,000 women in Sindh province.
Under WFP's nutrition programme, children are provided locally-produced specialized ready-to-use supplementary food called Acha Mum and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers receive fortified blended food called Super Cereal and vegetable oil.
At four years old, Ram Lal weighed only 9 kilos. He was very weak and was not growing well. His parents brought him to the Health House where he was given Acha Mum. Last year, in November, his Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) was 11.2cm -- placing him as a severely malnourished child. In addition to his daily meals, after 55 days of eating WFP specialize nutritious food Acha Mum, he gained 1.5 kilos and his MUAC increased to 12.2cm. Finally, Ram Lal is on the way to growing up healthy!
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