Between October 26 and 28 in Tanzania’s capital, Dar Es Salaam, the “Joint Multisectoral Nutrition Review” was held, an annual meeting organized by Tanzania’s government to take stock of the efforts to fight malnutrition. As it has every year, CUAMM took part. This year marked a special occasion, as Giuseppe Valerio, the country manager for Tanzania for Doctors with Africa CUAMM, explains,
«After five years of work, in June 2016, the National Nutrition Strategy plan came to an end, having served until now as the blueprint for efforts of partners and the government. This meeting was a chance to launch the new Tanzania National Multisectoral Nutrition Action Plan 2016-21. CUAMM helped shape this new plan, taking part in work groups on severe acute malnutrition (SAM), maternal, child and adolescent nutrition, and Nutrition Monitoring Information System (NMIS)».
October is certainly full of interesting events having to do with efforts to improve nutrition in Tanzania. Last October 5, we participated in the important event, “The Next Generation Program – Local Experiences, Global Impact,” in Dar Es Salaam, a chance to present “The Next Generation Program: Integrated Promotion of Nutrition, Growth and Development in Tanzania,” which sets the goal of preventing 77,300 cases of chronic malnutrition and 1,870 deaths by 2019.
And the week after that there was a regional launch event for the program in Simiyu, during the passing of the Uhuru Torch traditional event. A joint team of Tanzanian and Italian CUAMM volunteers presented to the public the measures we are taking to fight malnutrition in the area. Our volunteers worked in the shade of a stand in Bariadi, equipped with informational material and examples of products designed especially to treat mothers and children. They told all who asked about the program’s objective and concrete actions that will be taken.
CUAMM’s commitment to fighting malnutrition
Doctors with Africa CUAMM is committed to taking concrete action against malnutrition in the regions of Iringa and Njombe in central and southern Tanzania. We are equipping and establishing nutritional support units in 9 hospitals, 25 health centers, and 13 dispensaries in these regions. These units will help accurately identify and then treat severe acute malnutrition. An estimated 14,000 children suffer from malnutrition in this area, and of those, 4,700 suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
The measures CUAMM has adopted include training village workers to check for and recognize malnutrition, training health personnel in the district to diagnose and treat it, providing material needed to support malnourished children, and establishing model systems at hospital centers to treat complicated cases.
In November 2015, Doctors with Africa CUAMM signed an agreement to develop health measures for the prevention and treatment of child malnutrition, starting in 2016 in two new regions: Simiyu (northern Tanzania) and Ruvuma (southern).
In keeping with CUAMM’s other anti-malnutrition measures in Tanzania, in these new areas, we also seek to increase good nutritional practices among pregnant women and children under two; foster nutritional and hygiene practices among those who take care of children in the communities (particularly women); and help area health centers and hospitals to identify and treat children suffering from acute, severe and moderate malnutrition.