Impact Nutrition Africa embarked on a project in the Makoko Community of Lagos State, Nigeria on Friday the 10th to Saturday the 11th of January 2020.
Makoko is a Slum area in the coastal part of Lagos mainland. It is a crowded low-income community spread across land and water. The main economic activities of the dwellers are fishing, salt-making, sand dredging, sawmilling and firewood production. Makoko dwellers see living on water as natural to them. The health challenges in the community are majorly non-communicable diseases like malaria, respiratory disease and malnutrition.
Research shows that the rate of malnutrition is higher in malaria-endemic areas and that chronic malnutrition is relatively associated with severe malaria. A needs assessment was conducted in August 2019 by the Founder and a member of the board team, It was observed that majority of the people complained about issues of malaria and requested that they’d appreciate being given insecticide-treated nets to help protect their children especially the Under-five from malaria outbreaks during the wet season. This is understandable because the community especially (Makoko On Water) lives in stagnant, brackish water which is good breeding space for mosquitoes. The World Health Organisation has found that Malnutrition and Malaria are the greatest causes of Under-five mortality in Nigeria with Malnutrition accounting for 56% and Malaria accounting for 25% (WHO, 2010). Makoko, is even at greater risk due to environmental factors.
On the third of January, 2020 the project manager, accompanied by the Volunteer Recruitment coordinator, visited the community for the pre-entry phase of the project and paid a visit to the Baale of the community and other key stakeholders of the community to finalize plans for the outreach and also initiate community mobilization. On the 10th of February, the Project manager and her assistant led eighteen volunteers to the community where they kicked off the first phase of the outreach with nutritional assessment for mothers and under-five children alongside distribution of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs). Nutrition education on exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding and healthy dietary practices was given to the available mothers and the final phase of nutritional assessment and ITN distribution which brought the outreach to an end.
Some qualitative findings from our outreach include; 1) The people of Makoko community are quite conservative, this is because they’ve been exploited by some NGOs and Individuals who come around, take pictures and use them to get funding without doing anything for them. 2) They do not see the bigger picture in their view of the solutions to their health challenges. What most people seemed to be looking out for were packs of cooked food, while we were there for a long term and more sustainable solution to the nutritional issues in the community through nutritional assessment and nutrition education. INA’s Future Plans for Makoko Although Makoko has been adopted by INA for public health nutrition-based interventions for the year 2020, What’s next for Makoko will be based on the findings of our research. We are a research-driven organization and we depend on facts as the basis of our interventions. The results of our nutritional assessment will guide our next move depending on the nutritional diagnosis that will be made from the assessment. We are open for meaningful collaborations, suggestions and partnerships. Reach out to us through the live chat feature on our website or via [email protected] Also visit our Youtube channel for the video clip of this outreach @Impact Nutrition Africa
Project Data Visualization Here
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