Nyabihu district in collaboration with Nyabihu tea factory have built an ECD centre to fight against stunting and malnutrition among children under five of tea plantation female workers and help their children realise their full potential.
Most of tea plantation workers in Nyabihu district are pregnant, breastfeeding young mothers. Before the ECD Centre was built in the tea plantation, children were not safe. Mothers carried their children while working under rain, they could not feed their children properly. The consequence of this was the high rate of stunting. However, now they are happy because their children are in good hands of caregivers at the ECD centre.
Mrs. Mukasine Vestine, a mother of three-year-old son enrolled in the ECD centre at Jenda sector, working in Nyabihu tea plantation, said the ECD Centre has improved health of their children.
" Before the ECD centre was established, I worked while carrying the baby on my back sometimes under rain, I could not find time to breastfeed my child, but now he is safe, I am thankful to the district and the tea factory for their support in creating this ECD Centre, now I leave my child to the centre while working in the tea plantation. My child benefits from balanced diet, hygiene, care, and safety he needs.” Said Mukasine
" Now I am more productive. Before I could pick up 10 kg per day but now I can pick up to fifty kilogrammes of tea per day.” - Mukasine added.
Toyota Grace, the head of the ECD Centre said that some children who first joined the Centre were stunted and malnourished but thanks to the support in terms of equipment and human resources brought by Nyabihu district and the Nyabihu Tea Factory, the children are healthy and safe.
“We receive children who stay here under care of our trained staff the whole day; children grow healthy and parents are happy and more productive. At the beginning; children joined the centre while stunted, some were in red or yellow; we worked hard to improve their health conditions and now they are healthy " Said Toyota.
The Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs in Nyabihu District, Simpenzwe Pascal while briefing the journalists from 14 media houses touring the district, on June 9, 2021, to assess progress in the fight against stunting and malnutrition in 13 districts implementing the Stunting Prevention and Reduction Project (SPRP) funded by the World Bank; says ECD centres have been established to address the issue of stunting and malnutrition in the district, and now the investment in children has had a great impact as there was a decrease in stunting.
young childrene at the ECD centre in a tea plantation in Rwanda. The centre helps keep children protected, nourished and stimulated while their parents are away at work.
"In the past, Nyabihu district accounted for 59% of malnourished children under five, but after investing more resources to address stunting and malnutrition, we witnessed a decrease in number stunting cases," Said Simpenzwe.
In 2018, Nyabihu district had the highest rate of stunting (59%.) in Rwanda among children aged under five. By 2019, the stunting rate dropped to 46%; according to Survey conducted during the Mother and Child Health Week in 2021 by the Ministry of Health, stunting rate stands at 33%.