How a Sachet of Micronutrient Powder Boosts Somali Children’s Health and Development

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hargeisa, Somaliland March 2015: Hasha Abdi Abdullahi was desperate. She was living in a makeshift camp for the displaced in Hargeisa with her seven children after being forced to leave her home, 50 kilometres away, because of drought. She was heavily in debt and her three-year-old son, Abdisalam Mustafa Farah had started to refuse all food and showed signs of being malnourished.

“His hair turned orange,” says Hasha. “He likes being with his friends but when he stopped playing with them, I realized his condition was getting serious.”

She tried giving him medicine but his condition did not improve. Some days later, a community worker recommended that she buy a ‘Super Fariid’- a micronutrient powder that is sprinkled onto a cooked meal.

“If we hadn’t intervened at that stage Abdisalam would have become malnourished,” says Koos Dahir a community health worker, who goes from house to house educating mothers on the use of micronutrients powder for children. “At the same time we encourage mothers to improve their home diet by buying food with iron, and vitamins like vegetables.”

“This worked like magic.” exclaims Hasha as she cuts open the sachet and sprinkles the powder onto her son’s meal. “I gave him the powder and my son got his appetite back and as you can see he is now much better.”

Another mother, Halimo Hassan Ahmed had a similar experience after her ten month old baby Abdi Rahman failed to thrive despite continued breastfeeding. Halimo had been attending sessions on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) at a nearby health clinic to learn about feeding her child and providing proper nutrition.

Source: PSI Impact (link opens in a new window)

Health Care