Emmanuel Grows Strong Through His Mum, Mery’s Dedication
Mery’s little son, Emmanuel, is thriving due to her dedication in providing him his nutrient needs.
Walking around in little, red shoes, Emmanuel looks like a happy and healthy toddler. Mery Nhonya, Emmanuel’s mum, tells us just how much he has grown in the past year.
Enabled by her World Vision-trained Community Health Worker (CHW) in Mundemu, Tanzania, Mery learnt the importance of a well-balanced diet for her son, saying: “It is important to breastfeed [Emmanuel] until he is at least two years-old: this will help to protect him from illness. He eats stiff porridge and other vegetables and is well-satisfied. He was seven months old when he started complementary feeding and refused to eat the foods but is now accepting them.”
Through our Irish Aid-funded AIM Health Plus Programme, we train CHWs to empower pregnant mums and families with important nutrition information. Complementary feeding is essential to the healthy development of an infant as malnutrition usually occurs between the ages of six to 8 months in children under the age of five. Thus, the addition of different foods whilst maintaining breastfeeding meets the different nutrient needs of a developing child.
Mery continued to explain what she had learnt from her CHW, saying: “She visits and provides health-education on how to raise and feed my baby, [the importance of] clean utensils used for feeding Emmanuel,” and overall environmental hygiene.
Supported by Emmanuel’s grandmother and her CHW, Mery described how she is, “looking forward to see my baby healthy and happy because he is eating well and is strong.”
Despite using complementary feeding techniques, Mery worried about meeting Emmanuel’s nutrient needs as doing so is difficult in developing areas such as Mundemu. Minimal income, household chores resulting in limited time to attend to crops and climate-related disasters hugely affect family diets. Support from family members and nutrition knowledge is therefore crucial to ensure the health of growing children.
We are so thankful to you, the Irish taxpayers, for enabling families such as Mery and Emmanuel through our AIM Health Plus Programme. You are helping us to take one step closer to a HungerFree world: thank you.