ENDA Santé's community-based approach to fighting malnutrition

date Published on 10/08/2022

When he arrived at the Kirène health post in 2015, Demba Bodé, head nurse of the post had found a worrying nutritional situation. "There were many cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and moderate acute malnutrition (MAS) in children aged 0 to 5 years." The post supported by the District of Popenguine was doing its best with prevention activities (screening and weighing), which were not sufficiently effective to fight malnutrition in the area.

ENDA Santé, whose mission is to support vulnerable populations and its project entitled "Wër Werlé", through the nutrition component, came to support the District of Popenguine. It has deployed several actions in the different localities of the District aiming at promoting and improving nutritional knowledge and empowering women through the conceptualization and implementation of children's granaries and the organization of cooking demonstrations.

Fouck and Keur Ndiaye Lô, two localities located in Kirène, were the first sites to begin the experiment. Community meals accompanied by culinary demonstrations are organized every month. A pretext to mobilize mothers and children as well as community actors to share good culinary practices and raise awareness on this issue. The idea is also to make the fight against malnutrition a community concern but also to equip women so that they can reproduce the meals (good practices) once at home. A local dish is then cooked with local condiments collected by the mothers at the community level, served to the children and the mothers. 

The positive effects of granaries and cooking demonstrations on malnourished children

After 3 months of activities, the management of these cases of malnutrition had borne fruit in both areas. "The SAMs were taken out of the red zone and became MAMs and the MAMs recovered", rejoices the head nurse of Kirène, Mrs Demba Bodé.

This pilot experience was then generalized to all areas of the Popenguine District. Today, ENDA Santé has installed 33 granaries. With its operational partners, it plans to expand and add 23 other granaries to reinforce the achievements. 

A transfer of skills, know-how of good agricultural and culinary practices assured

We observed the same dynamics everywhere we went, in Kirène, Dobour. In Honkoma more precisely, in Sindia, the team attended a cooking demonstration. It was 5pm when the meal was served of "Ngourbane", a local dish made of millet and peanuts accompanied by smoked and dried fish. Here good culinary practices, the valorization of local products and the promotion of organic culture are emphasized and encouraged. Community participation is also a reality and we feel that the strategy has been appropriated by the population. "The condiments used for the preparation of the meal were the fruit of a collection of mothers, fathers, the village chief, the Imam and other goodwill. Everyone gives what they have and regularly supports the organization of cooking demonstrations as best they can" Halima Kâ, community relay and Home Care Dispensary (DSDOM) in Honkoma.

In Kirène, the head nurse of the post Bodé Demba still remembers a malnourished child who particularly marked her.