Marieme is a mother of five young children in M’Bagne, Mauritania. Just a couple of months ago, she delivered her fifth child – a healthy baby boy, called Amadou. At the beginning of her pregnancy, Marieme described to us how excited she was to meet her new baby and despite the daily tiredness, she was feeling quite well. She described how her Community Health Worker, Aissata, had been helping her during her pregnancy. Aissata visited Marieme regularly to give her advice about her health now that she was pregnant. She highlighted the importance of antenatal care check-ups and nutrition. She emphasised the need to eat healthily, especially green leafy vegetables that are rich in iron. The health of mums-to-be plays such an important role in the health of a new baby. Good nutrition is an essential part of this.
Marieme told us that her community created a garden where they grow beans, eggplants, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and many other seasonal produce, where she and her family access a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables to feed their family. This helped her to eat well during her pregnancy.
Aissata has been Marieme’s Community Health Worker for a number of years now. She has been visiting her so regularly and providing such great support that she is even considered a member of the family! Thanks to Irish Aid funding, World Vision has been working with Community Health Workers like Aissata since 2012, providing them with training to support pregnant women and new mums with health advice. This is done through our approach called Timed and Targeted Counselling.
When the time came, Marieme followed the advice of Aissata and travelled to the hospital to deliver her baby in the presence of a skilled birth attendant. Aissata even travelled with Marieme and stayed with her during the delivery to provide her with emotional support. All went smoothly and according to plan and Marieme has since been exclusively breastfeeding her little boy to make sure he has the best start in life. To support this, she continues to access the fruit and vegetables from the community garden to make sure she is having a balanced diet every day. She is also planning on getting her baby vaccinated and taking him for regular check-ups to monitor his growth. Aissata will continue to visit Marieme to provide more advice as Amadou grows up to 2 years of age – the most crucial period for every child’s development.
It is because of the generous support of Irish Aid and the people of Ireland that World Vision are able to support mums and new babies, like Marieme and Amadou. Thank you for this support.