In the past, Haiti was called "the pearl of the West Indies''. Now, Haiti is classified among the poorest countries in the world due to deep political crises, social, and economic situations. Just this past year the country has dealt with political unrest, earthquakes, the assassination of the president, and COVID-19 which impacted the population and their health. These are affecting all Haitians and more specifically children between 6 months to 5 years old. Pregnant and lactating women are also greatly impacted, resulting in more cases of malnutrition and death among expecting mothers.
There are many organizations that are working in Haiti, and as cases of severe and acute malnutrition continue to rise, Meds & Food for Kids stays committed to stand by the most vulnerable group-- children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women. In January 2020, through the SMART nutritional survey, the Ministry of Public Health and Population of Haiti (MSPP) noticed that the rate of acute malnutrition has increased from 4% to 6%. After the last earthquakes occurred in the southern peninsula of Haiti on August 14, 2021, we can predict that the Haitian malnutrition level is susceptible to continue to increase.
MFK is involved in producing life-saving products in our factory in Quartier Morin, a community in northern Haiti, for feeding pregnant and nursing women, treating malnourished children, and others who are nutritionally vulnerable. MFK's work within the malnutrition programs is also dedicated to supporting clinic partners and MSPP as much as possible. After the devastating earthquakes in the southern peninsula, MFK is involved in supporting the Ministry of Public Health and Population of Haiti (MSPP) with Plumpy Doz (Mamba Janm) and Medika Mamba to prevent and treat malnutrition for those in need.
On September 1st, 2021, MFK's nutrition department trained ten nurses and health agents to ensure the pregnant and breastfeeding women enrolled in the supplementation program are set up for success. It was a great moment. We discussed the supplementation protocol, the essential nutritional needs, before, during and the lactating period, weight control, PB, blood pressure, eclampsia, and the other topics that are very important to a mother’s health. There are currently 6 clinic partners are enrolled in MFK’s Prenatal Supplementation Program, and we hope we will be able to have the additional clinics next year to prevent malnutrition in other areas. In just one week, we have enrolled more than 250 pregnant and nursing women in the program, and we will continue this amazing work to save more babies from malnutrition, from conception through the first 6 months.
One of the women enrolled in MFK's Prenatal Supplementation Program in the Fort Bourgeois-ULS clinic is Annite. (pictured in post.) She is 32 years old, and a mother of 5 who lives with her husband and children in the Fort Bourgeois community of Cap-Haitian. She was admitted to the program to receive Mamba Janm, also called Plumpy Doz, during the pregnancy period. Annite delivered a beautiful baby girl healthy. In only 20 days post-delivery, her baby girl weighed a healthy 8.8lbs. She is able to breastfeed while eating Mamba Janm every day with her usual home food.
"Being admitted to the program and receiving Mamba Janm is very helpful for my baby and me because every day I am sure to have something to eat before lunch. This food gives me strength and contributes to my daily vitamins that are very important for my baby's health. I really like the taste. I believe that my baby will grow up healthy while I am eating Mamba Janm every day. Thanks to MFK's Mamba Janm, the pregnant women in the Fort Bourgeois area will prevent malnutrition and give birth to healthy babies", Annite says.