Say, a 31-year-old mother, lives with her parents at their home in a small village of Kangyidaunt Township, Ayeyarwady division while her husband is working in Thailand as a casual labourer for their income. This resulted in him leaving her to care solely for their beloved child, Blute. Fast forward a few months, she was starting to be deeply concerned about her children's well-being, especially when she noticed that her child became frequently ill. Besides, she couldn't help but wonder if their living conditions were contributing to these health issues. At that point, the dream of every child to live with parents was deemed unattainable for her prone-to-illness 23-month-old child, Blute and this weighed seriously on the young mother's heart, causing her much anxiety and despair.
Nevertheless, their fate grabbed a favourable chance when World Vision Myanmar, with the support of UNICEF, introduced a nutrition promotion programme to enhance the health and nutritional status of children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers in the Kangyidaunt Township. Say said, “It’s such a blessing that our village is included in this programme.” World Vision staff and volunteers arrived in May 2023, providing valuable nutrition-promotion activities to their community, including Say. She was excited to participate in the screening after receiving nutrition sensitization from the volunteers. Unfortunately, they found out that her 23-month-old child, Blute, was moderately acutely malnourished, falling within the weight-for-height z-score measurement, which is between -2 and -3. Accordingly, her child was admitted to the Supplementary Feeding Programme (SFP) of outreach activity supported by World Vision.
After getting the necessary process in the outreach clinic, she received IYCF (Infant and Young Child Feeding) counselling from the World Vision staff, along with Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for her child. Hence, she understood the importance of recommended feeding practices and RUTF served as a supplementary food for the child. Besides, she thoroughly absorbed the knowledge about breastfeeding, optimal child feeding practices, appropriate food variety, feeding frequency, and maintaining proper hygiene during feeding to her child.
As the weeks passed and the recommendations provided by World Vision were faithfully followed, the health condition of her child began to improve. Furthermore, the volunteer visited every two weeks, and World Vision staff came once a month to monitor the child's status of health and nutrition, provide the required RUTF, and offer supportive counselling. Subsequently, the overall health status of her child began to normalize. “After eight weeks in the SFP programme, my son was successfully discharged but I continued to receive IYCF counselling,” Say shared about her continuation.
After witnessing the miracle happening to her child, she became actively involved in health education sessions, monthly MUAC screenings, IYCF counselling, & all nutrition promotion activities implemented by World Vision. The knowledge she gained on proper child feeding, even with limited resources, allowed her to make better nutrition choices for her child and family. Moreover, she realised that her good care and healthy diet to her child maintain her child's health and good nutrition. Filled with special gratitude, Say thanked World Vision and UNICEF, the generous donors who provided invaluable nutritional knowledge and assistance to her family and children.
“I firmly believed that the support and activities of World Vision had a transformative effect on the community's behaviour, benefiting both children and caregivers alike,” Say claims. Filled with resilience and compassion, Say and her beloved child found hope, happiness and most important of all, they found their way back to a way healthier lifestyle, all thanks to the caring efforts of World Vision Myanmar and its dedicated team.