WFP provided support to refugees in southeast Uganda through direct implementation and nutrition support to the refugees using the UNHCR-identified partners in the settlements. The refugees arriving from DRC had large families with multiple children under the age of five. Many refugees faced traumatic events before and during flight and in some cases that trauma and dislocation led to disrupted breastfeeding as well as inadequate infant and young child feeding. Refugees stayed at the reception centers for between 1-5 days and often child feeding further deteriorates. Once assigned to land plots, refugees were expected to build shelter, collect food, and take care of basic needs- including cooking, finding domestic fuel and collecting water. As such IYCF practices were poor and hygiene and sanitation practices were not standard. There was a need to focus on caregiving and young child feeding to improve nutrition and health outcomes.
The IYCF-E Adviser was requested to strengthen the delivery of the IYCF-E response through the provision of senior leadership, technical support and capacity building including direct training to nutrition staff in the refugee settlements during an in-country deployment to Uganda to support WFP and UNHCR IYCF-E activities.
Settlement Assessment: Contact points throughout the settlement lifecycle were examined through an IYCF-E perspective. Meetings were held with key implementing partners and IYCF activities were mapped. Focus group were conducted with pregnant and lactating women and lead mothers in the settlements. Results of this overview were compiled in a comprehensive IYCF settlement Report
An evidence based IYCF-E response/action plan was developed based on the results of the settlement assessment.
Conducted a training targeting 20 partners Twenty partners, including UN agencies, OPM, district health officials and NGO implementing partners were trained on IYCF-E and how to implement the IYCF-E response plan as well as how to implement IYCF-E specific activities in the settlements. This includes key IYCF messages, logistical advice for IYCF corners and Indicators to be incorporated into IYCF reports.
WF Action Against Hunger- Uganda
Globally there is limited focus on the prevention and management of malnutrition among infants less than 6 months because of the assumption that these children are exclusively breastfed. A survey done in Uganda reported mothers of preterm babies face challenges transitioning from hospital to community due to increased household chores, social inequity and harmful cultural practices. In order to address this, Action Against Hunger, Uganda piloted a management of Mmall and Nutritionally at-risk Infants infant u6 months and their Mothers (MAMI) project. A contextual analysis for MAMI was conducted in Kiryandongo and Adjumani District by Action Against Hunger in January 2022 which showed a glaring gap in the identification, management and follow-up of the mother and infant pair. The contextual analysis indicated the need to build the capacity of the health workers in implementing the MAMI supportive interventions like MIYCAN, IMAM, IMNCI, ECD and BFHI. However, AH Uganda do not have the existing experience to build capacity in MAMI or to facilitate a MAMI Care Pathway training.
The MAMI Advisor was requested to provide technical support in building the capacity through mentorship and transfer of knowledge and experience to Action Against Hunger staff piloting the MAMI project, local organizations, government workers, health workers and other NGO staff to increase national capacity in operationalizing the management of small and nutritionally at-risk infants u6m and their mothers (MAMI) in Uganda.
Provide on-the-job supervision and coaching for AAH staff on current MAMI implementation in Adjumani and Kiryandongo refugee settlements.
Developed an Action Plan based on observations of supervision to continue building capacity of staff on MAMI and quality of implementation and service delivery
A 4-day MAMI training was prepared and facilitated in Adjuamni on 13th – 17th June 2022 for 37 participants, mainly ACF’s Nutrition Officers.
Provided an orientation on MAMI to stakeholders in Kampala on 7th January targeting 22 key participants attended.