With the month of January well underway, AIF continues its outreach initiative to provide nutritious and fortified porridge for vulnerable women across Rwanda.
On Tuesday 14th January, the AIF team led by Amos Muhunde – the Trade Marketing Manager, visited the Iranzi clinic located in Nyabisindu, Kigali.
This clinic was opened by the Christian Life Assembly church in a bid to help vulnerable women get free maternal pregnancy tests, treatment, counseling services and tips on good feeding.
The clinic welcomes over 20 pregnant women daily who are treated at Iranzi clinic at 10% of the cost they would be charged with general insurance coverage.
Jacqueline Murakatete, a tailor in the Nyabisindu cell of the Remera sector, shared a heartrending testimony with the team. Four years ago, she gave birth to a premature baby girl as a result of the poor diet she was following during the pregnancy. At the time, Jacqueline was undergoing stress caused by the lack of a daily income, food, and accommodation after she was abandoned by her husband.
“It was not easy to get a balanced diet while I was pregnant. Sometimes, I wouldn’t get clients and that meant going without food. This could have been one of the reasons why I had a premature birth” Jacqueline explained
After carrying the child for seven months, she gave birth to a baby weighing 1.5 Kilograms and had to spend more time at the clinic until the child gained some weight.
On the bright side, after the first incident, Murekatete changed and adopted a healthier diet that includes greens, Irish potatoes, Nootri Mama and sometimes protein food and milk. This helped her to give birth to a second and healthier child.
Unfortunately, Murekatete’s story is a common one among the women that the Iranzi clinic caters to. Ishimwe Yvonne – a Midwife and nurse at the clinic explained that women in the area have problems with affording health care, but the funding for the outreach programme can only afford their treatment and checkups, but not feeding the mothers – yet this is a crucial factor that needs addressing for a healthy and successful delivery.
To help their plight, Africa Improved Foods in partnership with Jesus Cares for Kids donated 27 cartons of Nootri products to this clinic and Kibagabaga Hospital. The donated products were collected with the help of AIF staff.
“This campaign started as an internal arrangement dubbed “Nootri Festive Pledge” where each staff, would pay for two Nootri packs, one for themselves and one as a donation to this initiative” Amos Muhunde – AIF’s Trade Marketing Manager explained.
Nadine Mbabazi Teta, Founder of Jesus Care for Kids (JCK) explained that her organization was created with a “prevention is better than cure” mentality at heart.
“If we all committed one pack of fortified food, a liter of milk or bread or anything that can improve the diet of expectant mothers, we can avoid cases of premature birth and have healthy mothers,” Teta said.
AIF has since last year donated over 25 Metric tonnes worth of Nootri products to vulnerable women and children in its ongoing fight against malnutrition and stunting.