An update from the latest Trustees visit to the hospital:
Many children who are admitted are malnourished, and some mothers do not really know what to feed their children on when they stop breast feeding. The Rainbow Room started as a place for children from the wards, both patients and young carers, to come to in the afternoon to have activities, to play with toys, and to sing.
Every Wednesday morning a Nutritional session is offered. Many families do not know how to choose or cook nutritional food. Cassava is cheap and filling, but not good nutritionally, and often the water is not clean so children get diarrhoea. Poverty is a factor in this, and children with disabilities (e.g. Cerebral palsy) are at particular risk. Families are referred from the ward and outpatients, some returning to the hospital especially for these sessions.
The mothers are shown how to prepare a nutritional meal and all help cook it. The day I observed the ingredients were: avocado, fish (fried then pounded into small pieces, matoke (plantain banana), Irish potatoes, g-nuts (pounded peanuts), onions, green peppers, tomatoes, dodo (spinach), cabbage and goat meat. All helped peel and chop.
Everyone really enjoyed the day. There was a lot of laughter, and the bonus of a meal to enjoy. This is a really worthwhile exercise.