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Red Cross trains volunteers on screening malnutrition in under-fives

Jul 31, 2015, 10:56 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) has recently trained young volunteers in Upper Nuimi District on hygiene, health, sanitation and nutrition at the administrative town of North Bank Region, Kerewan.

The GCRS acting Secretary General, Fatou Gaye, said with the training, the volunteers would play an important role in improving the nutritional status of children.

She said building the human resources of volunteers is crucial in complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Health in improving the health and wellbeing of malnourished children.

Madam Gaye urged the volunteers to be promoting positive behavioural change such as hand washing and other hygienic practices within Upper Nuimi.

Ousman C. Jallow, regional officer for the Red Cross branch in NBR, said the training of volunteers is part of the food security component of a project the Red Cross would implement in Upper Nuimi with a view to improving and promoting the health of children.

Mr Jallow commended the regional health team in Essau for their steadfastness in providing support to volunteers in the region.

Fabakary Bass, National Nutrition Agency’s field coordinator and lead facilitator for North Bank West, said nutrition and hygiene play important roles in the growth and development of children.

He urged people to develop and maintain healthy eating habit to keep a good nutritional status.

Sutaring Drammeh, regional principal public health nurse in Essau, noted that water and sanitation are prerequisite in strengthening the healthcare services. 

He said environmental sanitation and personal hygiene such as hand washing can contribute to the attainment of MDG4 as there is a direct correlation between hand washing and the health of children less than 5 years.

“Correct and consistence use of hand washing can reduce diarrhea by 42 – 47 per cent,” Drammeh said.  “People should practise hand washing with using running water and soap at all times to avoid disease like Ebola and cholera.”

Ebrima A.M. Bah, chairperson NRB Red Cross branch, urged the volunteers to uphold the ethics of volunteerism and principles of Red Cross and Red Crescent in serving humanity.