Treatment And Rehabilitation Of Sever Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in Children Under 5
The health of pregnant women, mothers, and children in the project area of Stung Treng is below the national average. In the district, there is a huge problem of undernourishment and malnutrition among infants and young children, as well as, women of child-bearing age. The reason for this is a general lack of capacity and resources in the community, combined with the isolated location of the district which is poorly served by health care professionals. Furthermore, the people in this area do not have adequate knowledge nor resources to provide appropriate nutrition for their infants and young children. Poor hygiene and sanitation, as well as widespread poverty, also contributes greatly to the overall poor health among mothers and children in Stung Treng. In Stung Treng there is only one adequately equipped hospital at the provincial level where children suffering from acute malnourishment or undernourishment can be treated and rehabilitated. The health centers and the health staff in the communities and villages lack equipment and qualifications to assess the nutritional status of infants and young children and to carry out treatment. Furthermore access to health services by the rural communities is poor.
Supported by funding from BMZ, Plan International Germany and Plan Cambodia, the Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT) implemented a three-year project called “Improved mother-child health and income generation in 35 villages in Stung Treng”, which was initiated in Sept 2016. The project aims to improve mother and child health; reduce stunting rates among children under 5 through integrated nutrition, water, and sanitation; as well as, income generation for the poorest households. The project operates in 35 villages, 8 communes within two districts, Thalaborivath and Siem Pang in Stung Treng province. The projects works with five Health Centres: Siem Pang, Sre Sambo, Thala Borivath, Preah Rumkel, and Chamka Leu.
A nineteen-month-old boy named NOUN Phanith, who lives with his family in Kandal village, Pres Rumkel commune, Thalaborivath district, Stung Treng province, was screened and identified with severe acute malnutrition in Jan 2019. His mother Ms. Khun Sopheak attended the health promotion activities on child growth assessment and monitoring organized by the
CRDT. Mrs.Khun Sopheak, Ranun’s mother is 27 years old. She was a core parent member that formed by the project. She regularly attended in the project’s activities, especially within the health education and promotion activities. Mrs. Sopheak was actively involved and quickly understood the trained topic. She got a few set of IEC materials such as poster and calendar.
In January 2019, Mrs. Sopheak referred her son to health center Pres Rumkel after noticing her child was not actively engaged in playing and dit not have an appitate. Confirming from health staff, Phanith was identified as a SAM child. Sopheak received BP-100 and guideline on how to use and store BP-100, and how to take extra care on providing complementary feeding, as well as training on hygiene.
After receiving the full treatment and caring practice, her son’s weight has increased to 9.1 kg by May 2019. “I am really happy to have the treatment at health center, if have not this service my son will not recover”, Sopheak said.