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Entering Jabbel Marra, West Darfur, from the west with UNO-Mi-8…

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Reducing Malnutrition in Hagadera, Kakuma Refugee Camps (Matija Kovac/IRC, 2011)

In late 2010 I had a privilege documenting the IRC’s  great work in Kakuma and Hagadrea refugee camps – see the publication that came out as a result of my work here!

The nutrition situation in Kenya’s refugee camps improve considerably in 2010 with global acute malnutrition indicators reaching their lowest rates ever, 5.6% in Hagadera and 7.9% in Kakuma – much of this success can also be attributed to the IRC’s persistent and hard work there!

In a nutshell, the IRC’s successful nutrition response is led by an emphasis on the refugee community’s engagement and participation, early detection and prompt action, and a focus on prevention and awareness. Through 2009 and 2010 the organization took on new responsibilities in Hadagera, adapted the nutrition programming approaches and strategies, and secured much needed infrastructural and staffing improvements. At both locations a shift towards community-based nutrition programming occurred, resulting in improved screening, more comprehensive and earlier participation in complementary feeding activities. The scale-up of high-impact nutritional activities and linkage to other programs led to close follow-up, support and prompt response at all levels, securing continuity of care, good treatment outcomes and emphasis on boosting proper infant and young child feeding and caring practices.

Congratulations girls and guys, great work!

IRC nutritionist, Hagadera.

IRC nutritionist in Hagadera during a home visit.

“I am not afraid, just curious!” Kakuma Refugee Camp, October 2010

MUAC screening by a Nuer refugee, who is also a community health worker in Kakuma Refugee Camp (October 2010)

MUAC screening by a Nuer refugee, who is also a community health worker in Kakuma Refugee Camp (October 2010)

 

Waiting… (Hagadera/Dadaab/Kenya)

Young Somali refugee waiting for the family's supplemntary food ration at Hagadera camp in Dadaab, Kenya.

Mother-to-mother support group…

Mother-to-mother support group in one of the Somali communities in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. Assisted by community health workers who are recruited from their communities, mothers are given basic health education and a chance to talk about their problems and issues in their own setting with trained medical staff.

Living On! Fighting HIV/AIDS in Turkana (Matija Kovac/IRC, 2010)

I had a pleasure of working with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Turkana, Kenya from June-August 2010. I was tasked with producing this best practice and lessons learned document on IRC’s HIV/AIDS program. I hope the document will serve its purpose: to demonstrate the great work the IRC is doing in the region. Download the document here! Alternatively you can also see the photo essay here.

The IRC’s performance in Turkana is really astonishing. The organization makes a tremendous effort in serving local and refugee communities with commitment, dignity and passion. The HIV/AIDS program is making a great impact in the region by raising awareness, providing high quality care, treatment and support services and fighting stigma. Compliments to everyone for their work, keep it up!

I would like to thank everyone who offered their assistance during this time – the IRC staff, implementing partners, friends from Turkana and everyone else I had the pleasure to meet during this time. With or without realizing it, you have all made this document come to life. Asante sana!

The IRC vehicle, surrounded by locals, in Kalokol.

 

Leaving Turkana…

Smiles you just can’t forget…

Some smiles just make you smile... FMP graduation, Lodwar, Kenya