Prenatal program expansion
The recent addition of two nurses to our nutrition team has enabled MFK to increase the number of prenatal programs it oversees. Our newest program locations are at Ft. St. Michel and Trou-du-Nord, approximately 5 miles and 12 miles from our factory, respectively.
Prenatal care and nutrition education is vital to preventing malnutrition in the formative 1000-day window (conception to child’s 2nd birthday). Good nutrition for mother and baby is critical to enabling optimal brain development and establishing a solid foundation of good health for the child’s lifetime. Prenatal care is important for moms, too. At enrollment and each weekly meeting, each mother is weighed and has her blood pressure checked. Two women at Trou-du-Nord entered the program with seriously high blood pressure and were immediately taken to another part of the hospital, where they received treatment.
The nutrition education classes are designed to be as interactive as possible. One activity the women enjoy is sorting wax food items (see photo below) into the 3 Haitian food groups: 1) foods that protect the body, 2) foods that repair the body, and 3) foods that build the body. The exercise helps the women retain the information and apply it to their everyday lives as they shop for food in the market. The educational part of the prenatal program is not only beneficial to the mothers, but also it equips them to pass along the information learned to neighbors, friends, and family members, with the possibility of creating a bigger impact on the society.
Women who have taken Mamba Djanm daily and attend our weekly prenatal clinic and nutrition classes have had no maternal or neonatal deaths, no congenital birth defects, and no cases of eclampsia!