Child Growth Promotion inrural Uganda

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Uganda via kindly anonymous
Lubanga Kayondo
mcodeuganda [at] gmail [dot] com

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Alive at Seven is an initiative aimed at reducing and eventually reversing the infant mortality in the rural areas where there is limited access to health information and services. It is estimated that over 200,000 children in Uganda die of common childhood illnesses such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria and measles each year. Mostly this happens before these children reach their fifth birth day. The majority of these children die of easily preventable illnesses caused by eating/drinking contaminated food/water or being malnuorished. Others who survive continue doing so when they are less healthy and less strong because of chronic malnutrition and continued illnesses caused by the swallowed germs, they are thus unable to grow and perform as well as they could otherwise done throughout their lives. Therefore MCODE has developed an initiative that will help to improve the lives of the infants in order to reduce their suffering and deaths because the prevention measures are easy to apply and the cost is low. Alive at seven is a program seen to be needed because preventing the infant death rates simply requires sensitiation among the community members but basically to the mothers and other caregivers to the children. The project which basically aims at preventing the children from acquiring diseases through eating/swallowing contaminated food or drinking unsafe water, also involves education on better nutrition methods, malaria prevention and de-worming of the children, and was developed on the following objectives;

  • Provide information among community members on prevention of diseases related to contaminated food and water.
  • Educate people on how to prepare clean drinking water for example cooking, using purifiers and properly covering water and food with and in clean containers.
  • Encourage house hold hand washing with soap basically before eating, after toilet use, before feeding the infants, after washing the babies’ bottoms etc.
  • Provision of deworming tablets to all children below the age of seven years, this will be done every after three months for a period of one year.
  • Discourage eating cold food, emphasise covering food, proper washing of utensils, discourage eating half cooked and raw food etc.
  • Educating breastfeeding mothers on keeping their breasts clean such that their children don’t swallow germs while breast feeding.
  • Promotion and provision of hand washing facilities basically in homes, schools and health centers, we shall promote “tippy taps” at homes since they seem less costly and effective for the rural communities.
  • Educating mothers on proper breast feeding and proper diet balancing for their children, this will be more easy because there is a variety of staple foods availabe which will only require knowledge on proper balancing to reduce malnutrition.
  • Encourage operation and maintainance of water sources at village levels to follow up and monitor the functionality and safety of these water sources.
  • Train and equip community based growth promoters (CBGPs) and hand washing ambassadors (HWAs), they will be responsible for child growth monitoring where mothers and other caregivers will be constantly reminded of diet balancing, and hygiene and sanitation as a better way to keep their babies safe from acquring diseases caused by germs and poor feeding.
  • To test and document at least two innovative and potentially replicable approaches or technologies that will contribute to improving community policies for rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion.


The project is expected to reach a total of 12,500 beneficiaries and is expected to have a number of achievements during and after the project implementation through;

  1. Ensuring that the approach taken empowers women, and has the needs and interests of the most vulnerable in mind, women will be mostly targeted because the biggest percentage of the children care givers is composed of women and are mostly the decision makers in matters concerning children.
  2. Producing a strategy and implementation process that will achieve at least the level of sanitation and hygiene transformation that will be agreed upon by all stakeholders.
  3. Defining common approaches yet also encourage a flexibility and adaptation to local realities (e.g. differences between different communities to be served)


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