The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is currently working on a programme called “Integrated Mother and Child Health” project, which aims at complimenting government’s efforts to reduce maternal, infant and under five mortality rates in the country.
The project also aims at reducing both acute and chronic malnutrition among children, and the reduction of anemia among pregnant and lactating women in Sierra Leone.
Mr Felix Gomez, WFP’s country director and representative, tells this medium that “Integrated Mother and Child Health” project contributes towards reducing the impact of HIV and AIDS on the nutritional status of People Living With AIDS (PLWA)
The project, which started in July 2005, is expected to last till this December.
He highlights that the project also contributes to health and nutrition for vulnerable groups, and towards the MDGs
Mr Gomez states that the “Mother and Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN)” activity is part of a comprehensive programme to reduce maternal and early childhood mortality associated with malnutrition in the project districts of Bonthe, Tonkolili, Koinadugu, Kambia and Kailahun.
The WFP country director points out that the planned activities are expected to contribute to strengthening capability for providing nutrition services at the districts level and health and nutrition education programmes at the clinic and community levels.
He maintains that WFP food will be complemented by other activities carried out by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) in partnership with UNICEF and NGOs with technical support from World Health Organization (WHO).
In the targeted districts where lack of access to nutritious food is a major contributor to malnutrition, all pregnant (from the second trimester) and lactating women with children under two are targeted for supplementary feeding, combined with de-worming programme in collaboration with WHO to reduce malnutrition.