Improving child nutrition in Nepal: Chutka and Sabina’s story

Little Sabina’s life had a shaky start. Her mother Chutka was weak throughout her pregnancy. When Sabina was born, Chutka didn’t understand the importance of good nutrition, so she couldn’t understand why Sabina wasn’t as healthy as she should have been. As any mother would, she worried immensely about her.

“Before Sabina was one year old she was quite unhealthy,” she explains. “She was not very active. I was very worried about Sabina at that time. I used to think, what can be done to make her better?”

With a bit of help from World Vision, Chutka’s anxiety was soon relieved. Health workers and World Vision volunteers began to see Chutka and Sabina at the community health centre and also visited them at home. Through talking with the World Vision staff and volunteers, Chutka soon began to learn more about health and nutrition.

“I learnt from female health workers at the health post as well as volunteers who came to my place. I learnt the importance of nutritious foods. I learnt that I should breastfeed my daughter frequently as well as feed her other green leafy vegetables,” she says, indicating the importance of a balanced diet for growing bodies.  

“Previously I didn’t know about the importance of breastfeeding, but now I know,” she says, adding “it is important to feed children green vegies to keep them healthy and not get diseases”. 

The health staff also taught Chutka how to make “super flour”, a nutritious high-protein blend of soybean, corn and barley. Chutka explains how it is prepared:

“You grind them and mix them at home and feed the child frequently. After I introduced super flour to Sabina, she started becoming healthier.” 

Chatka and Sabina now visit the local maternal and child health centre on a regular basis, where Sabina’s health is checked and they are given vital information about good health, hygiene and sanitation. 

These days, Sabina is at a healthy weight, much to the delight of her doting parents.

“Now Sabina is fit and fine, she’s quite healthy. I plan to send Sabina to school so she can get a better education,” says Chutka.

Sabina’s parents proudly hold up their daughter’s weight chart. A clear line ascends, showing her weight steadily increasing into the normal, healthy range. It may just be a drawn line to some, but to them it is everything.

“I want to thank World Vision for what they are doing. I’m very happy,” Chutka says.