The Nutrition Program exists to treat malnourished children from 9-59 months old, to get them back to normal body weight and return them to health and a proper stage of development. Children are medically treated if there are other physical and/or health problems. This program is fundamental to the work of the C-NEW-C (Centre for Nutrition and Education for Women and Children) and it receives children on a daily basis. On average there are between 25-45 children in the Nutrition Program each month.
Malnutrition is a contributing factor in 60% of deaths in children under the age of 5. Is urban Cap Haitian families living in extreme poverty do not have the resources to properly feed their children, and parents lack basic knowledge of nutrition and healthcare. Our program recognizes the need to not only treat the child, but to address the complex root causes of poverty. The holistic nature of the program ensures that both parent and child are nourished and given space to grow to their potential (physically as well as emotionally/intellectually). While children are being treated for malnutrition, their parents have access to capacity building Life Skills Programs to help break the cycle of poverty and poor health.
Stanley entered the program at a mere 4.5 kg (despite being 18 months old), and was classified as severely malnourished. He has had many health complications and required additional medical treatment, but is now up to 7.5kg and on his way to greater health. His mother is enrolled in Life Skills Programs.
Children brought to the centre are weighed and examined by a nurse, who determines the next course of action. Vitamins, Medika Mamba (gold standard medical treatment for malnutrition), and other medications may be given. Referral to hospital is made in serious cases. The nurse carefully monitors each child in her care does careful follow-up and home visits to ensure all children progress toward health.
Children who have “graduated” from the nutrition program (have completed the roughly 8-wk cycle of treatment and have returned to a healthy weight) are eligible to enter the Nursery Program at the centre. The Nursery Program provides a nutritious meal daily, and is a safe learning environment, with a staff of qualified childcare workers, to promote optimum childhood development in the preschool years (once malnutrition is no longer a concern). The Nursery provides childcare for parents still enrolled in Life Skills Programs.