Nutrition services

Saving lives through integrated health and nutrition services: the life story of young Hudayfa – Somalia


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) implements integrated health and nutrition services with funding from the UK government funded BRCiS program. Services are provided as a set of integrated preventive and curative essential services to vulnerable populations through outreach mobile services and fixed sites in four districts: Dhusamareeb, Galkacyo, Burtinle and Goldogob. The services include; outpatient consultations for infants under five and over five years of age with severe and moderate acute malnutrition who are enrolled in an outpatient therapeutic program (OTP) and a therapeutic complementary feeding program (TSFP) coupled with sessions of health education and nutrition awareness.

These mobile health and nutrition teams during their routine screening sessions in the village of Balicad, Dhusamareeb district, met Halima Mohamed carrying her one-year-old child, Hudeyfa. She had traveled from a neighboring village to access the services of the outreach mobile team supported by BRCiS. Hudeyfa was severely malnourished weighing 5 kg with a height of 65 cm and a very thin hand with a MUAC of 10 cm.

After taking the history and assessing the child, it was discovered that Hudayfa was suffering from severe malnutrition and medical complications. The child was then immediately referred to the IRC-supported stabilization center (member of the BRCiS consortium) at Hanano hospital in Dhusamareeb for further assessment and treatment. At Hanano hospital, Hudeyfa was diagnosed in more detail by a doctor in charge of the stabilization center and admitted the child to hospital care for severely malnourished children with medical complications. Then Hudayfa was given therapeutic milk with intravenous antibiotics to treat severe pneumonia. Her condition began to improve medically and began to gain weight along with a normal appetite for food and drink.

After eight days of hospitalization, Hudayfa left the stabilization center to continue the outpatient therapeutic program (OTP) in the village of Balicad for an additional two months, where BRCiS nutrition services are provided by the weekly mobile team. “I feel happy for the treatment my child received without which he could die and now he weighs 6.1 kg,” said Halimo Mohamed, the boy’s mother. She added: “I received sessions on infant and young child feeding during our stay in Hanano hospital which was very helpful to me and now I understand the importance of breastfeeding. exclusive within ”. She mentioned that she had given birth at home and that her children were all given water with sugar until breastfeeding was initiated a few days after giving birth. Halimo will now be enrolled in the next Mother-to-Mother Support Group (M2MSG) in the village of Balicad to gain more knowledge about exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, the importance of antenatal care, skilled deliveries and childbirth. family planning (birth spacing).

The life of this child and many other children at risk of medical complications and death is being saved on a daily basis thanks to support from the UK government funded BRCiS health and nutrition program. Since July 2019, IRC Dhuusamareeb has admitted and cared for 4,830 children under five suffering from acute malnutrition. In addition, the stabilization center at Hanano Hospital in Dhusamareeb admitted and treated 120 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition with medical complications requiring hospital treatment.

published by
Abdikarim Ali, communication and advocacy coordinator NRC BRCiS