The COVID-19 pandemic has caused one of the most severe socio-economic and health crises since its emergence in early 2020. Globally, it has led to an unimaginable loss of human lives and presents an unprecedented challenge to the global health security, food supply chains, and more critically, has stagnated and regressed efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
For the first time in 20 years, the global extreme poverty is expected to rise, pushing additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty. The pandemic also caused severe setbacks to the already insufficient progress towards eliminating hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030. For instance, the number of undernourished people could further increase from the current 690 million to almost 900 million by the end of the year. An additional US$1.2 billion per year will be needed to mitigate these impacts by scaling up nutrition interventions, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The past year increased our resilience and presented a unique opportunity to leverage and build on our existing strong relationship to the children, families, and communities we serve, to rapidly respond to the pandemic in ways that are safe and effective. Despite the enormous challenges, through the courageous efforts by our field volunteers, staff and our project partners, CenRID continued its support to the Government of Uganda Child Day Plus (CDP) initiative, its Multi-Sectoral Food Security and Nutrition Project (UMFSNP), and the Presidential Fast-track Initiative on ending HIV&AIDS by 2030.
Our strategy for improving child and maternal nutritional health is focused on the provision of vitamin supplements, increasing food availability and access, challenging discriminatory norms that inhibits women and children to achieve better nutritional outcomes, and empowering communities, including education of women, to treat and prevent malnutrition.
Through our ongoing VitaminsMinerals (ViM) Project in Eastern Uganda, we have provided the essential Vitamin A to 25,698 children, and over 1,000 children with urgent needs that would otherwise have been neglected, were referred and over 84 percent consequently received care at the various health centers.
We continue to focus our resources on innovative programs that offer accessible solutions to the most pressing issues critical to children's and women's health.
Data from Uganda’s Health Management Information System (HMIS) suggest that, since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a rise in maternal deaths by 10.4%, from 1,089 in 2019 to 1,202 in 2020.
To help improve maternal health-seeking behavior and ultimately ease this burden, CenRID intensified its public health education and the provision of prenatal vitamins supplementation campaign across four (4) Districts in Eastern Uganda; Kamuli, Luuka, Jinja and Buvuma, utilizing various media and community health structures, including Village Health Teams (VHTs).
Consequently, over 4,375 expectant mothers have received these prenatal vitamins for improved maternal and neonatal health outcomes.
In an effort to strengthen households’ and communities’ resilience to food insecurity, and further mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic, CenRID launched the Permagarden4All Project in Eastern Uganda to intensify the local food production and increase food access.
The project directly improved the food situation in 537 households by increasing availability, accessibility, and utilization of nutritious food products. Over 1300 household members, including small-scale farmers, received capacity building training to be able to withstand and adapt to environmental shocks and stress, and still be able to produce nutritious crops throughout the year.
While the past year has been characterized by grief and unprecedented challenges, it has also been marked by courage, resilience and growth. I’m hopeful that the future will not be anything like we have witnessed in the past year. I wish to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to our board, leadership team, and donors for their continuous support.
Thank you for your trust and commitment to CenRID!!
NII LANTEY BORTEY
President & CEO
"Being part of this project has improved my overall knowledge of HIV and has made it easier for me to abstain from sex. I also know my HIV status, and helping mothers at the health center by reminding them to bring their children for immunization"
Breandah Nahirya, 18, has completed Lugazi Homeland College, and waiting to take her Advanced Certificate Exams. Breandah is one of our project beneficiaries and participating in our teen outreach activities. She is working as a hospital aide at the Busamuzi Health Center III.