Testing whether community health workers can diagnose and treat malnourished children close to home.
Action Against Hunger saw a crucial gap in community health workers’ knowledge in Mali. At the time, they were only trained to diagnose malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia. Action Against Hunger’s bold idea was to train health workers to diagnose and treat severe acute malnutrition with ready-to-eat therapeutic food at home. This would tackle the problem at the root and stop families travelling miles to medical centres. In its first phase, this ambitious project more than doubled treatment rates in a small region of Mali. Now into its second phase, we’re excited to see the impact of Action Against Hunger’s idea in three more regions of Mali. Thanks to this project, plans are in place for a national rollout. Mali became the first country in the world to change government policy to include this type of diagnosis and treatment training. Studies are now underway in Kenya, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal to help beat hunger at home.