October saw the launch of a new project in Angola to address the problem of malnutrition. Operating as “Community Based Management of Malnutrition for the Most Vulnerable Children Under Five and Mothers in Provinces Affected by Severe Drought in the Republic of Cunene”, the project will run until July 2017, and considers nutrition in a community context, with particular emphasis on mothers and children aged under five.

Doctors with Africa CUAMM is working alongside two international bodies in this project: World Vision, an NGO active in the area of food security, and ECHO, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid.

ECHO’s interest in collaborating with CUAMM in the sphere of health, and nutrition in particular, derives from CUAMM’s work in the clinical treatment of severe acute malnutrition, which has proved to be uniquely capable of coping with the most serious cases, especially in periods of prolonged drought.

Each partner brings specific expertise to a team operation; World Vision has experience in community affairs and food security matters which aids the creation of a reference framework for treating malnutrition and helps to raise public awareness through local activities, while CUAMM has experience in the clinical sphere. These combined skills are expected to provide an effective response to drought and malnutrition emergencies by treating them as two aspects of the same problem requiring a common approach.

This project provides an excellent opportunity for Doctors with Africa CUAMM, already working to combat malnutrition in other African countries, to extend its war against malnutrition and strengthen collaboration with other NGOs working in the country.
In detail, our programme covers:

  • assessment of the nutrition units (UEN, Unidades Especiais Nutricionais) and support for the purchase of materials and medicines;
  • purchase and distribution of therapeutic food;
  • identification and referral of cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) through the community malnutrition management system, which sees community health workers playing a key role at community level;
  • clinical treatment of cases of acute severe malnutrition;
  • support for, and involvement of, local authorities (Repartição Municipal e Dipartimento Provincial de Saúde).

The project is active in Ombadja and Cahama, in Cunene Province.