BLOG – Preschool consultation is the central hub of the monitoring and promotion of children’s growth activities from childbirth to the age of 59 months. Before these consultations were set up in the Bunyakiri Health Zone of South Kivu Province, only immunization sessions and weight gain were organized.
Consultations to ensure the good health of children
Florence, married, and mother of 5 children, lost one of her children because of the diarrhea.
“I learned that one has to breastfeed the child immediately after childbirth, a thing I ignored for my first child. I gave him water because the milk was not flowing from my breasts, he had diarrhea and died.”
Previously, Florence only went to the health center for the weighing and vaccination in the ninth month, when her child would receive the last vaccination. She only came back when her child fell sick so that he could be treated. Florence now demonstrates the importance of preschool consultations.
“Thanks to the preschool consultation, I could prevent my children from different illnesses by using good essential family practices and by monitoring the weight curve. Today I take my children to see the nurse at the health center every month even when they are not sick. The nurse told me that if the weight of my child is in the green boxes, he has no nutritional problems, if the weight of my child is in the yellow boxes; it means my child is sick. There is a change in my family, my children do not fall sick like before, I know their weight and they are all healthy thanks to the advice I receive at every meeting in the health center.”
Chronic malnutrition in South Kivu
The joint project for the prevention and battle against chronic malnutrition aims to improve the nutritional status of children at the Chiganda Health Center. This project, financed by the Swiss Cooperation and USAID in collaboration with UNICEF, FAO and PAM, targets children under five in general and particularly those aged between 0 and 23 months through an approach combining specific nutrition interventions and nutrition-sensitive interventions (food security, access to nutrition, water, promotion of good hygiene and sanitation practices).