AKU teams work to control malnutrition
September 21, 2011
The catastrophic monsoon rains that swept the country in July 2010 affected around 20 million people, destroying 1.7 million homes and damaging 5.4 million acres of arable land. They also brought with them hunger and disease, with women and children suffering the most.
In November 2010, Aga Khan University conducted a nutritional survey covering 10 districts across Sindh and Punjab. Based on the results of this survey, nutritional intervention delivery was planned and nutritional supplies were provided, targeting anaemic women of reproductive age and children.
Nutritional packages for children included supplemental and therapeutic feeding in the form of RUTF (Ready to Use Therapeutic Food), and sprinkles – a micronutrient supplement in powder form. Children identified with moderate or severe malnutrition were given nutritional supplements in the form of ferrous sulphate tablets, and deworming syrups and tablets. Anaemic women were provided with iron folate supplementation.
AKU’s nutritional intervention programme has continued well in to the current year; in May 2011, around 50 per cent of women seen at camp sites were found to be anaemic – this number has significantly risen from March where it was 40.1 per cent – while 45 per cent of the children seen were malnourished.