“Since 2019, I had the opportunity to start working with CUAMM as a field officer in community interventions, in particular within the project “Nourishing the future”. The intervention works on two levels: health centres and communities, in close collaboration with community leaders and district and regional authorities – continues Prisila -. We first trained community health workers on data collection, on how to use the MUAC, a ‘bracelet’ to measure the degree of malnutrition of mothers and children, and facilitated their relations with village leaders and families. We then have worked, along with the CHWs, on strengthening the referral system of malnutrition cases from the community level to the HC. Once the most vulnerable families have been identified, in collaboration with our project’s partner CEFA, we distributed agricultural and animal breeding kits. My name is Prisila Amosi and I am a nutritionist, with a degree in Nutrition Science from the University of Agriculture of Sokoine, in Morogoro, Tanzania. I have worked in various organisations and, before working with CUAMM, I have been involved in a project focused on early childhood development, from the first days of a child’s life up to the age of 5. During my fieldwork I worked in the milk production sector: we carried on education sessions for farmers. When I worked in the hospital instead, I was involved in case management of child malnutrition, severe and acute malnutrition and moderate acute malnutrition”.
Today Prisila is a nutritionist for CUAMM as part of the project “Nourishing the future: Integrated intervention in agriculture, health and nutrition supporting the first 1.000 days of mothers and children in Iringa and Njombe”, financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and implemented by CUAMM in collaboration with CEFA-The seed of solidarity. This smiling, determined woman recounts CUAMM’s commitment in and with the communities, to improve nutritional habits and health practices.
In collaboration with the districts’ authorities, CUAMM supports the organization of the Village Health and Nutrition Days (VHND), during which people can undergo nutrition screening and attend cooking demonstrations to learn how to prepare nutritious food for children. In particular, we aim to raise awareness in the communities about the importance of a healthy diet, by organising also sessions on how to breastfeed your baby, the best diet to follow during pregnancy, how to recognise danger signs in newborns, and on family planning, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s national guidelines.
“We are trying to involve men more and more, but it is still very difficult because of their ‘traditionalist’ mentality – Prisila adds. It is a great challenge to make them understand that raising a child is not only the mother’s job, but a responsibility of both parents. At the level of health structures, we support HCs and train health personnel to manage cases of malnutrition. At Kilolo hospital, for example, CUAMM manages outpatients, guaranteeing the provision of therapeutic food (RUTF), and promotes the integration of early childhood development services necessary for the proper development of children in the first years of life. Awareness raising on Covid-19 and vaccines is promoted in the villages as well. The activities are having good results, as seen during the nutrition days, where several people were vaccinated after the community leaders had been vaccinated first. Now people are less afraid of the vaccine”.
Prisila and CUAMM are committed to improving themselves and the lives of their communities with care and dedication.
“I chose this profession because I want to contribute to the wellbeing of the community, particularly in the area of nutrition, and thanks to my field work with CUAMM, I have had the opportunity to meet many people, learn about the contexts in which they live, and see how traditions affect their lives. This is the only way to make an effective intervention”.