Why distribute vitamins?
Malnutrition and poor sanitation in the camps and villages where internally displaced persons live are the reasons we wanted to be involved delivering this project. It will help prevent thousands of children from getting childhood illnesses including poor vision, blindness, anaemia and diarrhoea.
Vitamin A, Albendazole and multi vitamin distribution is one of the Ugandan Ministry of Health National programs with its strategy to prevent children under five from many childhood illnesses especially the eye problems in children, such as poor vision and blindness, due to vitamin A deficiency.
De-worming can prevent children from worm infestation and can treat the children who are infested with worms at the same time. Soil-transmitted Helminths (worm-like parasites that survive by feeding on a living host to gain nourishment and protection) can potentially reduce physical growth and retard cognitive development in school-age children.
The poor status of pregnant mothers in this area coupled with malnutrition in the camps prompted the need of provision of multivitamins to pregnant mothers in order to reduce the prenatal deaths. Also taking the multi-vitamins strengthening the pregnant mothers body at this most important time.
Thanks to Vitamin Angels for providing the vitamins, medication and training manuals and the District Health Officer of Yumbe for his support.
Two days training was conducted for all service providers and mobilizers at the clinic in Mijale.
Summary of the distribution
Mass distribution has now taken place in Gobor and Imvepi:
- 75% of children <5 years received vitamin A supplementation in Gobor and Imvepi
i.e. (2343+8600) =10,943. Therefore 10,943/14600×100 = 74.95 = 75%
- 75% of children from 1year to 5years received Albendazole
I.e. (11,000/14600) x100 = 75%
- 81% of pregnant mothers received Mult. Vitamins in Gobor and Imvepi
The project was very well received by the local communities, both refugee and host communities.
Due to financial constraints, Mijale could not carry out the mass distribution plan, instead it is integrated to routine services of the clinic for free. Therefore, it will be reported on over the next six months.