Harnessing the Power of Motherhood: Yemeni Mothers Join Forces to Combat Malnutrition
A mother of seven children shares her story on how nutrition practices and knowledge can improve her children’s health.
In January, Thorya Sallam, who worked for International Medical Corps as an infant and young-child feeding (IYCF) officer in Yemen at the time, was conducting routine household visits in rural villages when she met Wujun Awad Mohammed Abdallah, a 30-year-old mother of seven.
Thorya asked Wujun if she was experiencing any challenges adapting feeding practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, and invited her to attend IYCF education sessions supported by International Medical Corps and funded by ECHO. Wujun readily accepted and joined several other local women at their first session.
“Before the International Medical Corps-supported education sessions, we had no idea about the appropriate prevention measures to take as breastfeeding mothers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wujun. “Thanks to the education sessions, we are confident to continue breastfeeding while washing our hands regularly, ensuring that food is prepared in a clean environment and avoiding crowded places.”
In addition, Wujun learned best practices for feeding children older than six months.
“Giving our children aged six months and above other foods besides mother’s milk, such as sheep and cow milk, will help them grow strong and prevent them from suffering from diseases, especially diarrhoea,” she explains. “I also learned about correct breastfeeding positions and measures to take to prevent children from getting infected by COVID-19.”
Despite living in a country with ongoing conflict and a constant threat of famine, Wujun still attends our education sessions. She also encourages other mothers in her village to continue breastfeeding, especially those with children under six months old, while taking preventative measures against COVID-19.
Working with the Mawza district health officer, local authorities and community health volunteers, our team continues to reach out to pregnant and lactating women in remote villages with IYCF education about how they can keep themselves and their children healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.