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Nutrition for Mothers and Children in Malawi

Learning and fun

Mothers enrolled in the nutrition programme at Bangwe Health Centre in Blantyre start off their session with a song that teaches them about healthy eating habits and child care. WFP supports 338 health centres throughout Malawi, providing special fortified food, corn soya blend (CSB), to malnourished children under two as well as pregnant women and nursing mothers.

The nutrition programme helps poor families

“Being on the programme is helping me to improve the health of my child - within just a month her weight has improved from 6kg to 7.5 kg”, says Catherine Chikopa, a divorced mother who, with no support from her former husband, has a difficult time feeding her family.  
 

WFP’s nutrition support builds strong bodies for a better future

One-year old Lorine became malnourished after her mother was diagnosed with TB and stopped breastfeeding. Just a few months into the programme and already her eyes are brighter, her skin healthier and she is gaining weight.

Education about the right foods is an important part of the nutriton programme

“We try very hard to train the mothers how to feed their children so that after the programme the children will not relapse into malnutrition”, says Sister Mwamadi, nurse-in-charge at Mdeka Health Centre.

Monitoring progress

Monitoring body weight on fortnightly basis helps mothers and health workers to measure a child's progress while on the supplementary feeding programme.

Nutrition programme increases amount and quality of mother’s milk

Before Bridget joined the programme, her child wasn’t growing well because she wasn’t able to produce enough milk. "Since I started coming to the health centre, I'm able to breast feed, my baby cries less and is growing healthy”.
 

Nutrition programme helps poor families improve the health of their children

“I came to the health centre when I noticed baby Cecilia was losing weight”, says mother-of-three, Agnes Josia. “I’ve seen how children improve when they come here”. Her husband is a charcoal seller and does not make much money, she adds. The family grows some vegetables on a small plot but not enough to feed them all.

 

WFP provides hope for expectant mothers

Although just starting the programme, Ida Harry (22) has learned from the experiences of other mothers on the programme and now has high expectations that she will give birth to a healthy child.
 

Good nutrition builds the brains and bodies of the next generation. Children will only reach their full potential if they receive proper nutrition in the first 1000 days of life.  WFP Malawi is contributing to the national efforts to reduce malnutrition among children, women, and patients on TB treatment.