New Baby Joy in Mundemu, Tanzania
Meet Anastazia and Charles from Mundemu, Tanzania. Earlier this year, they welcomed their first bundle of joy to their family – a little boy called Juliasi.
Mundemu is located in Dodoma region, in the central part of Tanzania. For quite a few years now, this area has been suffering from prolonged droughts due to the impact of climate change on the weather patterns. While Anastazia and Charles are farmers, these droughts have been impacting their ability to consistently grow diverse fruits and vegetables in their garden.
This has made things quite challenging for them. During her pregnancy, Anastazia was regularly visited by her Community Health Worker, Sifras, who counselled her on important health issues, such as attending her antenatal classes and going to the health centre to deliver her baby. Sifras also highlighted the importance of eating healthily during her pregnancy, as her baby was relying on her for his nutrition. She recommended that she set up a home garden with leafy green vegetables and sweet potatoes. However, the lack of rain made it too difficult for Anastazia to make this happen.
Thankfully, Sifras also counselled Anastazia on the types of foods she should be eating and she was able to buy them from the local market. When Juliasi was born, Anastazia began to exclusively breastfeed her son, following Sifras’ advice to ensure that he had the best start in life. As Juliasi grows up to 2 years of age, Sifras will continue to visit Anastazia to provide her with important health advice, such as tips for introducing solid foods to his diet, taking him for his vaccinations and also for regular growth monitoring check-ups.
Sifras is not alone in providing these supportive visits to pregnant women and mums in Mundemu. There are close to 100 other Community Health Workers in the area visiting women in their neighbourhoods to provide health advice. These Community Health Workers are local volunteers who have been trained through World Vision Ireland’s maternal and child health programme. They are making a difference every day through these visits, saving the lives of mums and new babies by sharing crucial health messages and tips.
This work would not be possible without the generous support of Irish Aid and the people of Ireland. Thank you.