Teen mothers should be skilled in Maternal, Infant and Child Nutrition.

The training that gathered current beneficiaries and Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Facility Health Workers (FHWs) at the village level in Rwamagana District was held at Mfura Foundation’s Headquarters from 24-28 August, 2020 by complying with COVID-19 prevention measures such as practicing physical distancing, wearing facial masks, and use of sanitizers.

Speaking during the training session, Marie Clarisse Mfurayabo, Founder and Country Director of MFURA Foundation said that the training is part of different projects and programs of the organization to facilitate the mission of ensuring the reintegration of the most vulnerable and/or marginalized groups by improving their livelihoods.

The training was looking at enabling the trained teen mothers to provide support and information to mothers, fathers, and other community members about nutrition and feeding infants and young children.

The training focused on basic technical knowledge for the recommended essential nutrition actions by the government of Rwanda, including maternal nutrition practices, breastfeeding, and complementary feeding practices and hygiene for children from 0 up to 24 months.

“Such training also helps build counseling, problem-solving, and negotiation skills among the teen mothers.” Mfurayabo said.

Through the training program, Mfura Foundation needs to achieve specific objectives around (1) women’s nutrition; (2) exclusive breastfeeding from birth to six months; and (3) complementary feeding, with continued breastfeeding from six months up to 2 years.

Trainees also were equipped with other important maternal, infant and young child health practices that affect nutrition and health such as feeding of sick infants and young children; hygiene, safe water, and compound sanitation; as well as kitchen gardening and small animal promotion.

The training left beneficiaries with the ability to understand why maternal nutrition is important to the health and nutrition of a baby and to describe recommended feeding practices through the first two years.

Trainees were also enabled to describe how to position and attach a baby to the breast, to identify ways to prevent and resolve common breastfeeding difficulties, to describe various aspects of appropriate complementary feeding from 6–24 months of age, to describe practices for feeding a sick child and use basic behavior change and negotiation skills to support the adoption of key practices by mothers, fathers, mothers-in-law, and other caregivers.

Various Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Experts with community-based experience facilitated the training and advised trainees to get use of the acquired knowledge.

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