This poster shows the communities served by the health center, where sensitization programs are helf throughout the week and WFP food assistance to prevent malnutrition in pregnant and nursing mothers, and young children take place every other week. The 'catchment area' refers to communities farther away that are also served by the health center.
These pregnant and nursing mothers receive WFP nutrition assistance to prevent malnutrition through an activitiy called "blanket feeding", whereby WFP provides nutritious food to all members of a vulnerable group in high risk areas to prevent them from becoming malnourished. We usually focus on children under 2 years, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Nurses at the health centre lead sensitization activities during the week on best dietary habits, among many other topics. WFP nutrition activities aim to prevent moderate acute malnutrition, which can lead to 'wasting', or severe weight-loss. Focusing on malnourished children under 5 years, pregnant women and new mothers, WFP helps affected people recover by providing nutritious rations and specialised products to supplement their daily diets.
Matina Thomos, 26 years old, holds here her 4 month-old baby, which is her third child. Matina supports her family with petty trading while her husband works in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. "Without food assistance, it would have been very difficult for me to cope," she said.
Nurses hand out WFP food rations as part of its "Blanket Feeding" activities to prevent malnutrition. To ensure that mothers use WFP special nutrition products correctly, mothers who accompany children to the distribution sites and health centres are shown how best to store and use the ready-to-use foods, such as Plumpy’sup, and in the case of Super Cereal Plus - a fortified corn and soy flour enhanced with micronutrients and dried milk. This helps ensure that the ration has the biggest impact on the child’s nutrition status.
Every mother and child has a health card to track his or her progress. To determine whether children are malnourished or not, children are screened at Blanket Feeding distributions sites or helath centres. WFP and NGO partners measure children’s mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) to determine whether they are malnourished. Children who are identified as malnourished are referred to hospitals and clinics so they can receive the assistance they need. The treatment programmes are supported by WFP and other UN agencies, including UNICEF. Those who are not malnourished, but are part of the most vulnerable age groups also receive a ration to prevent their health from deteriorating.
Mothers leaves the health center carrying their young children on their backs. Sometimes mothers walk up to 8 kilometres one-way to reach health centres and receive WFP food assistance to prevent malnutrition, known as "Blanket Feeding".
WFP works with partner NGOs to deliver food assistance and implement its programs. NGO partners form a critical part of WFP operations as they have local knowledge of the area and communities. In Moyamba district, WFP partners with Plan International and in Bo district, WFP partners with World Vision. Partners are selected accordingly to their geographical presence and capacity, and proven experience in delivering humanitarian assistance. Partners are essential both for WFP's short and long-term responses to hunger.