Malteser International

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News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.fao.org

In the last decade, Cambodia’s poverty rate has declined but malnutrition rates remain high, and complementary feeding practices continue to be poor. Annually, more than six thousand Cambodian children under the age of 5 years die as a result of maternal malnutrition, underweight and wasting, poor infant feeding practices or micronutrient deficiencies. For infants and children under the age of two, the consequences of undernutrition are particularly severe, often irreversible, and reach far into the future. Malnutrition, resulting in stunting of children, undermines human capital and economic productivity. To help fight the effects of poor nutrition, in 2011 FAO started a 42-month nutrition-sensitive agriculture project: ‘Improving Food Security and Market Linkages for Smallholders (MALIS) in Preah Vihear and Otdar Meanchey’ in northern Cambodia. The project focused on boosting food security by increasing the capacity of smallholder farmers to diversify production, enhance productivity and increase resilience, and improve their family feeding practices. Nutrition education, a key component for a better diet The nutrition education component of this project started in 2013 in 16 villages in Preah Vihear and 19 villages in Otdar Meanchey. 1 387 volunteer community nutrition promoters (CNPs) with infants and young children aged 6-18 months were trained on improved infant and young child feeding, hygiene and food safety practices. Participatory cooking demonstrations were also held in collaboration with the Provincial Health Department, District Health Centres, Provincial Department of Women’s Affairs and NGOs: Malteser International and Farmer Livelihood Development in which caregivers learned how to prepare improved thick and multi-ingredient porridge (bobor khap krop kroeung) from locally available foods, and how to responsively feed their young children. The final nutrition education sessions and graduation ceremonies took place in early 2014. Improved complementary feeding plays a key role in the food and nutrition security of families In order to improve the quality of the nutrition education intervention, the project focused on identifying enabling factors for caregiver behaviour change in relation to complementary feeding. The results from a knowledge, attitude and practice study showed that most caregivers improved their hygiene practices, in particular washing hands with soap before cooking and feeding children. It was also noted that caregivers improved their knowledge on age-appropriate feeding and they felt that learning about better child feeding practices is important. Most caregivers interviewed prepared the enriched bobor 4 to 6 times per week and some caregivers even prepared it every day for their children. As a result of improved nutrition, children cried less, had healthier skin, less diarrhoea and gained weight. To convince caregivers of the benefits of enriched bobor, FAO conducted a complementary feeding campaign in 35 villages during February - March 2014. A cooking demonstration and tasting of bobor by all villagers was followed by a one-week bobor distribution in which children aged 6-23 months were given bobor three times a day. Overall feedback from caregivers was positive and children liked the food. The MALIS nutrition team also produced new training materials, designed nutrition education posters for facilitators and caregivers, developed nutrition modules for Farmer Field Schools, and created food availability calendars to promote the use of diverse foods during different seasons. Success can only be maintained through constant follow up Since the start of the project a total of 1 387 caregivers of infants and young children aged 6 - 18 months participated in nutrition education sessions, which took place in 99 villages. The project demonstrated that locally available foods play an important role in improving the food and nutrition security of  household members in rural Cambodia, particularly for children through improved complementary feeding. In order to measure the quality of the project, FAO receives regular feedback from caregivers and trainers and conducts follow-up home visits together with the implementing partners to reinforce nutrition education messages and to observe whether behavior change in villagers has occurred due to improved complementary feeding practices.


Mankuta D.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Mankuta D.,Bat Ami Sexual Assault Treatment Center | Aziz-Suleyman A.,Malteser International | Yochai L.,Latet Organization | Allon M.,Israel Psychology Association
Israel Medical Association Journal | Year: 2012

Background: During the horrific war in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the years1996-2007 the number of casualties is estimated to be 5.4 million. In addition, 1.8 million women, children and men were raped, many as a social weapon of war. Many of these women still suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mutilated genitals. Objectives: To assess a short-term interventional team for the evaluation and treatment of sexual trauma victims. methods: The intervention program comprised four components: training the local staff, medical evaluation and treatment of patients, psychological evaluation and treatment of trauma victims, and evacuation and transport of patients with mutilated genitals. A diagnostic tool for post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - the Impact Event Scale (IES) - was used. The psychological treatment was based on EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) principles. Using questionnaires, the information was obtained from patients, medical staff and medical records. results: Three primary care clinics were chosen for intervention. Of the 441 women who attended the clinics over a period of 20 days, 52 women were diagnosed with severe PTSD. Psychological intervention was offered to only 23 women because of transport limitations. The most common medical problems were pelvic inflammatory disease and secondary infertility. Nine patients suffered genital mutilation and were transferred for surgical correction. The 32 local nurses and 2 physicians who participated in the theoretical and practical training course showed improved knowledge as evaluated by a written test. conclusions: With the short-term interventional team model for sexual assault victims the combined cost of medical and psychological services is low. The emphasis is on training local staff to enhance awareness and providing them with tools to diagnose and treat sexual assault and mutilation.


The Lepanto Institute published a new video report that provides new details regarding the removal of a senior member of the Knights of Malta.  Grand Sovereign of the Knights of Malta, Albrecht Boeselager, was abruptly removed from his post in early December, and according to sources within the Order, the distribution of condoms played a key role in his dismissal. The new report from the Lepanto Institute shows that the Order’s international relief organization, Malteser International, had distributed condoms and oral contraceptives from 2005-2015, and even now promotes condom use on its own website.   Boeselager was in charge of Malteser international from 1989-2014. “It's an open and shut case,” said Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute. “We reviewed dozens of programs conducted by Malteser International while Boeselager was in charge, and there's no denying that the distribution of condoms and oral contraceptives was an ongoing effort under his leadership.  The Order of Malta was right to ask for his resignation.” According to an article in Malta Today, Boeselager was suspended from the Order after he refused to resign his post. “As a highly respected Catholic institution with the duty of carrying out their noble charge of defending the Faith and caring for the poor, it’s very important that a clear case be made that Boeselager’s removal was completely justified,” said Hichborn.  “Our hope is that this report provides clarity about what was happening under Boeselager’s leadership, so as to avoid the destructive in-fighting that could be caused by rumors and assumptions.” The Lepanto Institute’s report can be viewed at: http://www.lepantoinstitute.org/knights-of-malta/knights-of-malta-remove-senior-member-amid-contraception-distribution-scandal The Lepanto Institute for the Restoration of All Things in Christ is a research and education organization dedicated to the defense of the Catholic Church against assaults from without as well as from within. Founded in 2014, the Lepanto Institute has exposed several instances of Catholic or Catholic-affiliated organizations being directly involved in events or other matters directly contrary to Church teaching. www.LepantoInstitute.org


Gerstl S.,Malteser International | Sauter J.,Malteser International | Kasanda J.,Malteser International | Kinzelbach A.,Malteser International
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Introduction:The Democratic Republic of the Congo is today one of the poorest countries in the world; the health status of the population ranks among the worst in Sub-Saharan Africa. Public health services charge user fees and drug prices. Since 2008, north-eastern Congo is facing a guerrilla war. Malteser International is assisting with free health care for internally displaced persons as well as the general population. Before the incursion the health system was based on user fees. The aim of this study was to determine the socio-economic conditions of the population and to assess their ability to contribute to health care.Methodology:Heads of 552 randomly selected households in 23 clusters in two health zones were interviewed using a standardised questionnaire.Findings:The demographic description and socio-economic conditions of the study population were homogenous. Major source of income was agriculture (57%); 47% of the households earned less than US$ 5.5/week. Ninety-two percent of the interviewed households estimated that they would be able to contribute to consultation fees (maximum amount of US$ 0.27) and 79% to the drug prices (maximum amount of US$ 1.10). Six percent opted for free consultations and 19% for free drugs.Conclusions:Living conditions were very basic; the estimated income of the study population was low. Almost half of the population perceived their current living situation as fairly good/good. More than 90% of the study population estimated to be able to contribute to consultation fees and 80% to drug prices. As a result Malteser International suggested introducing flat-rates for health care services. Once the project ends, the population will have to pay again for their health service. One solution would be the introduction of a health care financing system with the goal to reach universal coverage to health care. © 2013 Sibylle Gerstl.


The Democratic Republic of the Congo is today one of the poorest countries in the world; the health status of the population ranks among the worst in Sub-Saharan Africa. Public health services charge user fees and drug prices. Since 2008, north-eastern Congo is facing a guerrilla war. Malteser International is assisting with free health care for internally displaced persons as well as the general population. Before the incursion the health system was based on user fees. The aim of this study was to determine the socio-economic conditions of the population and to assess their ability to contribute to health care.Heads of 552 randomly selected households in 23 clusters in two health zones were interviewed using a standardised questionnaire.The demographic description and socio-economic conditions of the study population were homogenous. Major source of income was agriculture (57%); 47% of the households earned less than US$ 5.5/week. Ninety-two percent of the interviewed households estimated that they would be able to contribute to consultation fees (maximum amount of US$ 0.27) and 79% to the drug prices (maximum amount of US$ 1.10). Six percent opted for free consultations and 19% for free drugs.Living conditions were very basic; the estimated income of the study population was low. Almost half of the population perceived their current living situation as fairly good/good. More than 90% of the study population estimated to be able to contribute to consultation fees and 80% to drug prices. As a result Malteser International suggested introducing flat-rates for health care services. Once the project ends, the population will have to pay again for their health service. One solution would be the introduction of a health care financing system with the goal to reach universal coverage to health care.

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