How UNICEF and DFID helped a child with severe acute malnutrition get stronger and healthier
UNICEF, with financial support from the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, supports the Integrated Mobile Brigades that helps identifying and treating malnourished children.
Cabo Delgado, Mozambique - Zura Cheia, a 2-year-old baby girl, and her young parents, Sifa Nfalume and Cheia Ntualibo, were forced to move to Ibo, 10 months ago, due to the armed conflicts in their community of Nambo, in Macomia District. They are one of the many Internally Displaced People (IDPs) that are now living in Ibo, in Cabo Delgado province.
Ibo is hosting currently a total a 10,518 IDPs (780 families) coming from the northern districts like Macomia, Quissanga, and other conflict areas.
Sifa, Zura’s mother, is a housewife and takes care of her child and Cheia, Zura’s father, is a fisherman, who was forced to find refuge in Cheia cousin's residence in Ibo. They have been able to build a small house in the cousins’ yard and recently been receiving regular food assistance with food items like oil, maize, sugar, and beans.
Sifa has lost most of her documents when escaping from the conflict and does not know her age. “I had severe anemia, and Zura was born with a bit more than a kilo, at home. Zura had problems growing, due to her low weight,” recalls Sifa.
In February 2020, during one of the outreach activities of active case finding supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Ibo nutrition team identified Zura with severe acute malnutrition (without complications) and has since been receiving treatment until beginning of June where she finally got cured.
Lucas Augusto, the nutritionist from the nutrition team, recalls when Zura started treatment and proudly said that she is now healthy again. “Zura, as many of the IDPs children here in Ibo, are at higher risk of malnutrition, and outreach activities, like the Integrated Mobile Brigades (IMB), and active case finding are very important to identify these situations,” said Lucas.
Zura is now a normal child, and she has the energy and is able to play well with other children.
“Zura is now a normal child, and she has the energy and is able to play well with other children. I have learned also to prepare different foods, using the food I receive and adding other foods like peanut and green banana flour that the nutritionist has taught me to use and prepare during the follow-up visits in the health facility to receive treatment. I can see Zura is stronger and healthy now,” said Sifa.
UNICEF traditionally supports the IMB in Cabo Delgado and currently supports this activity in 8 districts in Cabo Delgado with financial support from the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom.