Health centres to distribute milk, rice

Guyana Chronicle
June 15, 2000

THE Social Impact Amelioration Programme (SIMAP) has sealed a contract with Paradise Food Products for a six-month supply and delivery of full cream milk powder and rice to 21 health centres in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Nine.

This arrangement comes under the SIMAP Nutrition Sub-project for which an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loan of just over $140M was given.

Under this specific loan agreement, the first phase of supply and delivery of supplementary food is valued about $42M. This phase will start immediately at a cost of over $40M.

The programme initially catered for 15 health centres, but another six were added because SIMAP felt they could be accommodated under the current loan agreement.

The contract was awarded to Ishmael Mohamed who imports full cream milk from the United Kingdom. It is repackaged in 2kg packets here in Guyana.

Executive Director of SIMAP, Harrinarine Nawbatt, disclosed that another seven health centres - most of these would be hinterland centre - are likely to be added to the list of 21. He added that a survey indicated the type of food needed for supplementary support to mothers and children.

The beneficiaries are expected to utilise the food supplements to enhance their nutritional status. Those who will benefit are pregnant women, lactating women, children 6-23 months and malnourished children 24-59 months.

The food supplements are given in 2 kg packets at the health centres and are distributed weekly and monthly.

The selection of health centres was based on malnutrition rates obtained from the Ministry of Health. An estimated 43,000 individuals benefit from the supplementary food supplies.

Meanwhile, SIMAP recently concluded a three-day workshop for community resource persons who will be visiting the homes of beneficiaries in an effort to enhance nutritional education.

According to Coordinator of SIMAP'S Health Services, Esau Khan, his agency is in the process of providing kitchen equipment to the 21 health centres. The equipment is to be used for food demonstration and proper food preparation practices.

SIMAP has also purchased worm syrup, iron syrup, iron and folic acid tablets to the value of $11M for distribution to all health centres throughout the country.

SIMAP's Health Unit is in the process of re-allocating its budget to facilitate other activities such as producing posters, flyers and improving audio/visual aids at health centres to enhance nutrition education awareness at the community level.

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