A prison warden fighting malnutrition.

Leonida Musomi is one of a kind. Not only interested in correcting prisoners, her greatest passion is human nutrition. After receiving a training on micronutrients organized by County Government of Nairobi,GAIN, and Centre For Behavior Change and Communication (CBCC), Leonida Musomi has moved with speed to change the life of children and the nation at large. She has training in rehabilitation of prisoners and is also a nutritionist working at Ruiru Prison Staff Training Health Center. Behind the gate of Ruiru Prison staff Training Institute (PSTI) is a health facility which serves staff and the local community. We find Musomi in her full gear giving a health talk on nutrition to a group of parents.

Leonida Musomi at PST Nutritionist

For comprehensive health care she is keen to teach this community of the importance of healthy feeding practices to children. “We need healthy babies for a healthy nation”, she poses to the parents as she hold up a sachet of MNPs. “You will give one sachet of MNPs to your child aged 6-23 months after every three days. Ten sachets a month she poses to see if her listeners are following.” Musomi is not deterred by the large number of parents who flock to this clinic for health information. What drives her? “The parents who report back that their children have now increased appetite after taking MNPs in their food,” Mothers say that their children are developing well and we confirm through developmental milestone tests“We only introduced MNPs the other day and there is positive change.” Miriam Nyokabi is only but one of the mothers who are happy that the government is interested in her son’s milestone growth.“My son is not malnourished. I am continuing to breast feed as well as give him complementary feed with MNPs.”Says Nyokabi. Today, it is not the clinic day for her son, she came to collect MNPs, for the next one month so that her son will not miss on the 15 vitamins and minerals contained in each sachet , that are essential for a child’s development and survival.

Nyokabi listens keenly on how to administer MNPs to as her son tries to read for himself

MNPs improve the quality of complementary feeding which remains a major challenge for children especially after they stop breastfeeding exclusively at 6 months. Musomi is a creative teacher too. To test the comprehension of her class, she asks Nyokabi to explain to Lucy Muthoni a mother of a one year four months old baby how to use MNPs.

Lucy Muthoni inspects MPNs Satchet on behave of her daughter as Nyokabi restrains her son who asserts rightful ownership to this nutrition powder.

We give wholesome care. Nutrition education is one of our priorities to avert malnutrition in the country, adds Musomi whose main concern is stock outs MNPs. Congratulating the two men present today, she challenges men to get involved in the feeding practices of their children. We receive an average of 46 parents in a day whom we give a health talk every morning before we attend to them. Musomi is scheduled to disseminate the MNPs information to the rest of the staff at the health facility who did not attend the training.

Regina Kiche the Deputy in charge at PST applauds the government for the move to fight malnutrition in children with nutrition supplements.

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