Since humanitarian access was restored to villages and towns in northern rural Homs in May 2018 after more than 5 years of interruption, UNICEF has provided almost 4,000 children and 300 mothers with much-need nutritional supplements and treated over 40 children for severe acute malnutrition thanks to support from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). Working through a fixed health center and a mobile team covering four villages in the area, UNICEF has also reached over 1,000 pregnant and nursing women with messages on best practices in infant and young child feeding.
Nutrition services for children and mothers in rural Homs, Syria
UNICEF has provided almost 4,000 children and 300 mothers with much-need nutritional supplements and treated over 40 children for severe acute malnutrition
“Counselling is vital in preventing malnutrition among children as it educates young caregivers in conflict-affected areas, on the dos and don’ts of child feeding during the first 1000 days of life,”
UNICEF-supported volunteers deliver these messages through caregiver support groups and door-to-door visits. “One of the wrong practices we often encounter is mothers introducing sugar and starch solutions to babies before the age of six months and goat or cow milk before they’re one year old,” explains Ola Arab, one of the UNICEF-supported volunteers. During these encounters with parents, UNICEF-supported volunteers emphasize the importance of early initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.