Community activists are helping fight malnutrition in Angola

Trained Angolan volunteers treat approximately 50 children a week using Valid International's acute malnutrition programme.

From the Series

CMAM programme
CMAM programme

According to the humanitarian aid organisation World Vision, “acute malnutrition causes approximately one million child deaths every year”. After three decades of war, Angola has one of the highest child mortality rates in the world, which is mostly related to acute malnutrition. To fight this problem, various NGOs have started training local volunteers to manage community malnutrition cases, with the help of global health organisation Valid International’s malnutrition programme.

Malnutrition in African countries like Angola is caused by various factors including food shortages, unbalanced diets and lack of healthcare facilities, systems and education. A lot of rural families rely on traditional healing methods or their own initiative to nurse and treat their children, which only worsens cases of undernourishment.  

By joining the Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme, locals are able to identify and initiate treatment for children with acute malnutrition, within their communities. After the volunteers are trained in the symptoms, causes and care procedures related to the condition, they become caregivers who travel from house to house, administering Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) kits and routine medical checks.

The community caregivers can see over 50 children a week. An important part of their job is to regularly assist and educate families about correct nutrition and care practises for their children, which helps spread awareness across communities in Angola.

More on Design Activism