Rozina looks at healthy 8-month old Ramim and smiles while she feeds a special homemade food in the morning warm light at their small yard. Amidst all crises and poverty Ramim is growing up healthy.
“It’s not easy to raise children when income is limited and floods wash out crops almost every year,” Rozina says. “We can grow and collect a small amount of crops for the whole year. It affects our children’s plates too.”
In recent years, loss of crops by floods has become frequent in Jamalpur and other parts of Bangladesh. Farmers of the area are the main victims who solely depend on rice and vegetable cultivation for living. A matter of more concern is the high rate of malnutrition in the area. According to Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2017-18, with 30.9% stunting, 14% wasting, 21.9% underweight children (under 5-year) of Bangladesh continue to experience a high burden of undernutrition. Jamalpur and Sherpur districts are behind the national target in terms of nutritional status.
Despite all challenges, she discovered a recipe to raise her children healthy. She now knows what actually she needs to follow to be a good mother. Like Rozina, the project is supporting 50,732 pregnant-lactating women including 153,825 families to improve nutrition and hygiene practice, increase quality and utilization of nutrition services and improve household food consumption. World Vision and partners are implementing the works through the European Union-funded “Bangladesh Initiative to Enhance Nutrition Security and Governance (BIeNGS)” project in the Jamalpur and Sherpur districts.
This life-changing development started about one-and-half-year ago when one day Shahina, a community nutrition promoter from her own community came to her with messages on nutrition for mothers and children. That day Shahina told her to visit the nearest community clinic for a health check-up as she was 3-month pregnant.
“I saw the improvements of our community clinic. CHCP apa (Community Health Care Provider) treated me well and gave me iron (IFA) tablets.” Rozina tells about the community clinic visit experience. “She advised me to eat fish, meat, egg, liver whatever available in one of my meals every day and visit again after 3 months.”
Rozina says, “I wanted a healthy baby. I followed all the advice from CHCP Apa. I also always received good ideas from Shahina to eat nutritious food, take iron tablets and rest properly.”
Now Rozina’s son is 8-month old. From pregnancy to now, Rozina can recall Shahina's timely advice and follow-ups which were really helpful to her and for Ramim’s good health.
“According to Shahina’s advice, I even breastfed within one hour after Ramim was born knowing that it will boost my son’s health.” Rozina tells. “Everything I am learning from Shahina is really helping to keep my child healthy. I hope I will be able to keep it up. When a child falls sick, a mother suffers the most. Life becomes imbalanced. I don’t want that to happen.”