Nutritious Meal Plan Intervention for Vulnerable Mothers and Children, (NUMEPLAN) project is a three-year (2019-2021) program that seeks to improve the nutrition of vulnerable mothers and children living in underserved communities in Lagos State. It pursues to ensure that they have sufficient intake of required nutrients and food for optimal growth, function and health. Target beneficiaries include pregnant women and teenagers, lactating mothers and under-five children affected by malnutrition, especially under-nutrition. NUMEPLAN goals are;
- To ensure a reliable and constant supply of adequate, safe and nutritious foods for the target beneficiaries.
- To reduce the morbidity and mortality rates associated with under-nutrition amongst under-five children.
- To prevent and control micro-nutrient deficiency among mothers and under-five children living in under- deserved communities.
The Vision To solve the problem of hunger and malnutrition in Teenage Pregnant Girls and infants in the slum communities in Lagos Nigeria.
The Mission To enable slums as well as Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) to adopt and implement effective nutritional education programmes and affordable meal plans that help pregnant mothers/teenagers understand how nutrition is essential to maintain sound health at every stage of their pregnancy and their babies after delivery. Target beneficiaries include pregnant women and teenagers, lactating mothers and under-five children affected by malnutrition, especially under-nutrition.
The Outcomes of NUMEPLAN program are:
- Increased access to affordable meal plans and food security through the Lagos Food Bank.
- Increased community involvement in health and nutrition education activities.
- Strengthened capacity of PHCs within the slums to provide, manage and monitor affordable meal plans.
- Increased access of beneficiaries to resources like jobs that match their existing skills to sustain themselves through the on-going job placement program of the Lagos Food Bank Initiative
Journey So Far Since 2019, we have enrolled over 150 beneficiaries into the program consisting of infants and under-five children, pregnant teenage girls and pregnant women and lactating mothers. A partnership exists with the Primary Health Care Centers (PHCs) in Agege and Alimosho Local Government Areas. The PHCs refer cases of malnourished pregnant women/teenagers, lactating mothers and under-five children to Lagos Food Bank. When they arrive at the food bank, we conduct a series of nutritional assessments to determine whether the referred people will be enrolled into the program. The enrolled beneficiaries go through further assessments and counseling by our Nutritionists. Depending on the severity of the condition, we schedule the next consultation date on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. They are also provided with nutritious food items to ensure their adequate nutrient intake each time they visit the food bank. We have successfully enrolled, managed and discharged 107 malnourished beneficiaries from the NUMEPLAN program.
Impact Story Sarah Olowookere was 1 year 4 months when she was enrolled into the NUME-PLAN program on the 25th of February,2020. On her first visit, she weighed 6kg and her mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) was 10.8cm which indicated that she was -4SD of a normal child. Physical signs of malnutrition like; brittle hair, little muscle mass, flaccid skin and a bony frame were also evident. She was thereby diagnosed by our nutritionists to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition (under-nutrition). She suffered Bronchi pneumonia from child birth and this contributed to her ill-health. She was counseled by our nutritionists and provided with nutritious food stuff and baby supplement to aid the growth and improve the health of her baby After 5months of timely visitation, Sarah showed significant changes, we can celebrate huge milestones in her motor, speech, vision, hearing and social skills. Sarah was discharged on the 28th of July, 2020. On discharge, she weighed 7.5kg with her MUAC reading on 13.5cm transitioning from a malnourished baby to a healthy baby. (Attach picture of her before and after)