In order to eradicate stunting among children under five years of age, through improving maternal and child health, Gatsibo district in partnership with ADRA Rwanda’s EKN nutrition project funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands through UNICEF, organized and celebrated global breast feeding week.
The celebration took place on 8th October 2015 in Rwimbogo sector, under the theme: “Breastfeeding and work, let’s make it work”. It focused on”1000 days” campaign launched in Rwanda since 2013—dubbed ‘1000 days’ because it involves the 1000 days period, right from pregnancy through to the first two years of a child’s life.
Joseph Munyaburanga the executive secretary of Rwimbogo sector who opened this campaign urged participants to care about their children’s nutrition to eradicate stunting among children under five.
Jean Claude Kabarangira, Kiziguro hospital nutritionist recommended exclusive breast feeding for the first six months. He explained better breast feeding positions, timing and how a child holds the breast and recommended balanced diet as complementary to breastfeeding.
The District Monitoring and Evaluation Officer commended Rwimbogo sector residents for having achieved exclusive breast feeding up to 98.7%, being the third in Gatsibo District.
Jovia Uwamahoro, ADRA Rwanda’s EKN zone coordinator elaborated on the importance of the cooking demonstration sessions, and the Positive Deviance hearth sessions (PD Hearth). The PD Hearth session is a 12 consecutive days session where parents with malnourished children gather and prepare a complete balanced diet for their children. This approach is effective and has proven to rehabilitate more than 85% of children who attend, and 100% if the parents continue the same in their homes. She recommended all residents of Rwimbogo sector to have kitchen garden at home and called them to participate in cooking demonstration sessions held at all villages, as those are learning platforms.
Naganze Aimee, UNICEF representative suggested district authorities to organize more sessions on sensitization about the first 1000days of life. “Such events are very essential in the community as it is a way of sharing knowledge to many people,” she said.