114 under-five children screened for Acute malnutrition in Madisi

In conjunction with the Ministry of Health (MoH) procedures, The Malawi United Methodist Church (MUMC) and Church of the Resurrection (COR) from Kansas city, USA, the Nutrition Clinic has been up and running for five months in Traditional Authority Chakhaza, Madisi, in Dowa district. The aim is to reduce the number of malnourished children under the age of five.

I left Blantyre at 4.30am to Madisi.After driving for almost 7 hours, about 390kms, I was in Madisi around 11.30am, found the wonderful women and men waiting for me. As soon as I saw them, my soul wept, my exhaustion melted. They have been waiting from 8.00am. Thanks to Chimwemwe, the new Madisi Health Coordinator, who was there a day before me, for comforting them and Mrs Mark, our cook, for feeding these children while waiting for my arrival.

Parents waiting under a tree to have their children screened

I had previously told the Pastor of Madisi, Peter Nethulu, that the screening was for the nursery school children alone (45 children), but when the community heard, they came to the nutrition clinic in large numbers, increasing the number by 69 (totaling to 114). The clinic programs involve the community as much as possible based on the idea that solutions to community problems already exist within the community. Its overall goal is enabling communities to independently address the problems of malnutrition in their young children. Therefore, i had no choice but to screen them as well.

Parents and their children waiting patiently for their turn


I did not know where to start from, by just inspecting at these children; their faces told me a story. Soon the women cued to have their children screened one by one.

Parents cuing to get their children screened

From the group discussions with parents before the screening, it appears very little education has been provided about nutrition, good hygiene practices, HIV and AIDS and the importance of monitoring the growth of their children. The parents were reminded that one way of addressing the malnutrition problems faced by the community is to cook nutritious meals with locally available produce.

Nursery school children waiting for their turn to be screened

Another cue for the parents

A mother smiling after her child was screened


A father who came with his child

Mothers waiting to have the food supplements

Mothers ready to go home after getting the food supplements

A mother feeding her child with plumpy nut


A child feeding on plumpy nut before going home


Mothers waiting

Out of the 114 children screened, 23 were malnourished representing 20% and all these have been recruited into the nutrition program.  Those with other ailments were referred to the Presbyterian church health center which offers free treatment to under five children within the same area, Madisi.

By Mercy Chikhosi Nyirongo






About wandikweza

We are a team of nurses, midwives and a public health practitioners working in limited resource settings
This entry was posted in Health and Nutrition. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 114 under-five children screened for Acute malnutrition in Madisi

  1. Brian Hague says:

    Mercy, you are so amazing! May God continue to bless you, and your work. This is awesome.

  2. Mary Beth Wiggins says:

    Mercy, amazing! Only you, and the hand of God! Thank you for all you do and for helping these children. I can not wait to hear more good news from Madisi!
    Mary Beth Wiggins

  3. I really enjoyed this glimpse into your work and its impact. It’s so wonderful to know that are using your skills and energy in such an effective manner. This a great way to share ongoing work and successes in Malawi. Excellent work, Mercy. Keep sharing. God bless and keep you always.

  4. Wehnam Dabale says:

    Mercy, We are proud of what God is doing in Malawi through you. I pray that He continues to bless you and the ministry.

  5. Thank you for your report, Mercy. It gives us good insights into your work. It’s wonderful to see how you are applying what you learned at A.U.

    Ed Dodge, MD
    Faculty of Health Sciences
    Africa University

  6. Pingback: Intensive English! «

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