Planning for Outcomes in Malnutrition Crisis
The International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (IFRC) held a workshop aimed at discussing issues around food security needs and the impact on health and the wellbeing of the affected communities.
The training is in line with the support that IFRC is rendering to national societies to implement life saving and mitigating interventions aimed at addressing the drivers of crisis, and the need to ensure that the efforts are evidence based, contextualized to the dynamic nature of the crisis and responsive to the needs of the affected communities.
The training that took place at the Boma Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya between 1st to 5th May brought together program managers steering health projects, nutrition and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions, from various national society including: Somalia Red Cross Society, Uganda Red Cross Society, Kenya Red Cross Society, Tanzania Red Cross Society, Nigerian Red Cross Society, Malawi Red Cross Society, South Sudan Red Cross, Ethiopia Red Cross among others.
Amanda McClelland, is the Senior Officer, Public Health in Emergencies with the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (IFRC). Amanda was the lead facilitator at the workshop.
“This is an opportunity to bring together nutritionists and individuals working in the WASH sector to not only learn, but also share ideas,” said Amanda McClelland. “The drought situation in 2011 was catastrophic and we are at similar or even worse indicators, thus the need to ensure that our interventions are effective,” Amanda added.
The horn of Africa and parts of West Africa is currently experiencing climate-related shocks, conflict, drought, among other crisis. Such crisis has seen the effected communities struggle with malnutrition cases and other health issues related to food insecurity.
Kaltun Hussein Dahir, is the National Health and Malnutrition Officer with the Somalia Red Cross Society (SRCS), Somaliland (Somalia).
“It is a very important and timely workshop because currently we are experiencing a drought situation which has come with a number of drought related diseases and high malnutrition in Somalia,” said Kahun Dahir. “We need to be equipped to respond effectively,” Kahun Dahir.
Arziki Mato Ribah is a Health Officer with the Nigerian Red Cross Society. “The training has come at a time when we actually need it as some parts of Nigeria are currently experiencing food insecurity,” Arziki Ribah said. “This training will enable us plan our interventions to respond in a timely manner and effectively to the needs of the affected communities especially in northern Nigeria where food insecurity is a great concern, ” Ribah added.
The take home for participants was to be in a position to assess, design and plan interventions in context of malnutrition crisis.
“Malnutrition is an epidemic that should never be ignored but treated with a lot of urgency since it affects the soft spots of the society which include; children under five and pregnant and lactating mothers, said Leila Chepkemboi Special Programmes Manager, Kenya Red Cross Society. “There is need for national societies to work together to address such crisis,” Chepkemboi added.
By Florence Ogola