Blog February 2018
A young swiss dietician, Jacqueline Ribeli, served as a volunteer with AiNA soa from 8 January to 15 February 2018. She is sharing below the summary of her work in Madagascar as well as her impression:
Stunting (when a child is too short for its age) and other forms of malnutrition are quite common in Madagascar, especially during the childhood. It happens because of various reasons: On one hand, the income is often very low and the opportunities to buy specific food are not given. On the other hand, the knowledge about the function of the various nutrients is unknown and the diet is very monotony.
With the project of AiNA soa and the open attitude of the team, I had the option to volunteer. I was very happy that the first week was quiet and I had enough time to finalize the teaching preparations. With the concrete presentation, I was ready to teach at schools and other facilities which work with children. It was about bringing people closer to the topic of nutrition and sensitizing how important a balanced diet is to the development of children. This happened with the following main focuses:
Energy-yielding nutrients – different forms of malnutrition, especially stunting – improvement of the protein quality with the combination of locally available food – “hidden hunger” (deficiency of various vitamins and minerals) which is often not recognized and what can be done against it, specifically with a bigger variety of different foods – water and hygiene – safe preparation of food
Together we have reached many people in the surrounding area of Talatamaty. Only short trips were necessary or we could even walk from the office.
Trainings on other topics took place both for the whole team or more specifically for the medical team. This allowed us to share a lot about the various treatment and counseling activities with patients. It was very rewarding to learn more about the work of the doctors in Madagascar. I was very pleased that both the team and the listeners in the external trainings were very open to the various nutritional topics. The feedbacks were very encouraging.
The collaboration with the team of AiNA soa, as well as exchanging with the many people during the external trainings, was an incredibly enriching experience. It was a great pleasure for me to have been led here by God. I had the opportunity to pass on the expertise in nutrition to other people. Moreover it was perfect that my husband could stay with the team of AiNA soa for two weeks and has provided technical supportJ.