Joint efforts in battling malnutrition

by | Aug 31, 2022

In Nepal’s far-west, a mother breathes with relief after her little girl regains her health following treatment for acute malnutrition, thanks to the dedication of local healthworkers and community volunteers. Sita, a local of the Dhangadhi Sub-Metropolitan City in Kailali District in far-western Nepal, had herself not gained much weight during her pregnancy. “My family and I had been worried that this would mean the baby would be underweight too, and when she was born, it was like that fear came true,” she says.
Even as Sita hoped that it was just a matter of time, Dipika –now well over two years of age – was still not putting on weight as expected. Desperate for a solution, the young mother had initially consulted traditional healers or Dhamis in her community. Fortunately, before she could fully give over to their advice or other superstitious beliefs, she came into contact with Ratna, a female community health volunteer or FCHV.
Sita had met Ratna at one of the local mothers’ group meetings, a regular gathering of women in the area usually guided by female community health volunteers to discuss maternal and child health and nutrition, among other issues. Learning of Sita’s problems, Ratna had offered to conduct a Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) test on her child using a MUAC tape.