By Raymond Baguma
A US-based international non government organization has held a fundraising charity walk to raise funds to fight malnutrition amongst HIV/AIDS orphans in Jinja district.
According to a statement released by the NGO, Faces of Hope International (FHI), the walk was held last week at Medford Square, in Massachusetts with the participation of the local community and Walden University.
Bakali Mukasa, the founder of FHI said, “We raised US$6,154.89. It will be used to feed orphans in Jinja villages of Walukuba, Budumbuli Bugembe, Wakitaka and Mafubira villages where we have had similar impact in the past.”
Face of Hope International, works with organizations and individuals in US to support local leaders and charities in Africa to promote programs in education, primary health care, HIV/AIDS fight, community health education, nutrition and food security, and economic empowerment to promote interests of marginalized groups.
The raised funds will buy nutritious food and food supplements for 84 malnourished HIV/AIDS orphans for six months.
According to the ministry of health, malnutrition in Uganda is the single greatest cause of child mortality. This is alongside other causes such as neonatal diseases, HIV/AIDS, diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria.
Also, the peak period of malnutrition in children is between 6 months and 2 years, contributing to about half of the under-five mortality in Uganda.
The ministry of health’s Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) policy of 2009 provides a framework for offering the support on feeding of infants and young children with HIV/AIDS, malnutrition and those with birth weight.
The policy guideline recommends exclusive breast feeding for infants of HIV infected women for the first six months of life irrespective of the child’s HIV status unless replacement feeding is acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe.