Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanks From Our Mothers

Last week IECM staff had a wonderful and uplifting day. We got a notice from the pediatric in-charge that IECM staff were invited to a special event. To our surprise, mothers of children currently being treated for malnutrition at Nyakibale wanted to show their heartfelt appreciation for all that our staff had done for them.  These mothers hosted a concert for IECM staff after secretly practicing their songs.  Not only did the mothers sing, but they also allowed us to dance along with them! 

It was an amazing experience to see these women take time out of their day to personally thank us through song and dance.  Knowing that the work you have done is making a difference is truly an incredible feeling.  

Learn more about Ujenzi Trust at

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Modern Primary School’s Garden is Still Growing Strong!

In 2011 the Initiative to End Childhood Malnutrition, with the help of Harvard’s Global Hunger Initiative student volunteers, helped construct a school garden at Modern Primary School in Rukungiri town. Over the past year the faculty and staff at Modern have been enthusiastic about the garden not only for the produce, but also as a teaching tool.

The Deputy Head Master invited the IECM Program Coordinators to see the progress of the garden this week. He has hopes to continue expanding the garden and to diversify the number and quantity of green vegetables. This will allow the school to incorporate highly nutritious vegetables into less expensive matooke, potatoes, and beans. Currently, matooke, dodo, beans, spinach, and eggplants are all growing in the garden. The students help with the weeding and cultivation process. Crops from the garden are used for meals for the boarding students. In addition, students are learning about what crops to include in their own gardens and how to maintain it in order to ensure a bountiful harvest.

With the enthusiastic help of the Deputy Head Master and seed contributions from the local NAADS office, Modern’s garden and children are still growing strong!

Learn more about Ujenzi Trust at

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

IMAM Training

Nyakibale and IECM staff including two inpatient nurses, two outpatient nurses, our Nutrition Fellow, and the Medical Superintendent were trained in Uganda’s national guidelines for malnutrition prevention and treatment at Mulago Hospital in Kampala. The six-day, private training was held at Mwanamugimu, the Pediatric Malnutrition Unit at Mulago National Referral Hospital. The training will expand the capacity of IECM’s program in several important ways. 

First, training in Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition Guidelines (IMAM) will ensure that our staff can train colleagues at Nyakibale and local health facilities in Rukungiri District. This will allow a large number of health care providers in Rukungiri to carry the knowledge with them throughout their career and throughout the country.

Second, training in IMAM guidelines will allow Nyakibale to start receiving F100 and F75 sachets, which are powdered high-energy milk formulas for inpatient treatment of malnutrition. These sachets are free and require only boiling water. IECM hopes to see a significant reduction in program costs as a result. Ensuring a continued and reliable supply of F100 and F75 sachets is essential.

Third, IECM will have the continued support from the Ministry of Health. Additional benefits coming from the national and international level such as reporting materials, compiled data, and supplies will become available to as a result of IMAM training.

In sum, IMAM training will ensure that the work IECM has started will have a sustainable and long-term presence in Uganda.

Learn more about Ujenzi Trust at

Friday, August 9, 2013

August 8, 2013

Recently, we had a child admitted to the malnutrition ward with severe Kwashiorkor. The little boy was a child of four but looked to be about 2.  He had edema throughout his body and very little appetite.   Over the course of a couple days it became apparent that the child would not drink the high energy milk given to him.  When given an NG tube the child proceeded to pull it out and continue to refuse the milk.  In response IECM’s nutritionist fellow started to make high energy porridge to entice the little boy to eat, yet still he refused.
After continued problem solving the Nutritionist fellow proceeded to create a special diet known as ekitoobero.  The child was enrolled in our “meals for mother’s” program and given well balanced meals with a large protein component.  Within 2 weeks the child’s edema has disappeared. He has a strong appetite, a lot of energy.  The child’s grandmother has been given nutritional counseling and the child is likely to be discharged by next week.

Seeing a child recovering and knowing that you helped is one of the best feelings in the world.  

Learn more about Ujenzi Trust at

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Training Village Health Care Teams to Identify Cases of Malnutrition in Rukungiri District

On June 20th and June 27th the IECM outreach team including our nurses, volunteers, and Nutrition Fellow helped to train 113 VHTs in Ruhinda sub-county. The trainings include education on signs of malnutrition, screening children for malnutrition, and best nutritional practices.

As a follow-up to training, VHTs went out into the community and screened children making referrals for Child’s Days held on July 6th and July 13th. 184 children were screened, eleven children were admitted to our outpatient treatment program, and four patients were admitted to our inpatient treatment program. Each subsequent visit to our Ruhinda outreach site has increased the volume of children being screened and continued to train VHTs.

It is amazing to see the dedication and hard work our VHTs put in to protect the health of their community members. VHTs are supported by the Ministry of Health in Uganda, but extensive training in malnutrition prevention is not part of their initial five day training program.

IECM has worked with VHTs in communities that receive malnutrition prevention and treatment services from our outreach site. VHTs have been an integral part of our program by helping to identify children deep within the community that are severely and moderately malnourished. The impact that our trained VHTs have holds promising potential for Bikurungu and Murama sub-counties, two of our seven outreach sites that still need VHT training.