An interview with Lalla Cissé
What is your role in ACF and what does it involve?
There are five aspects to my role as the Assistant Nutritionist:
- Establishing, managing and developing activities which combat malnutrition: planning, coordinating, operational and technical monitoring, collection of nutritional data, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) schemes, fostering partnerships with other organisations and collaborating with other ACF programmes (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes and Food Security programmes).
- Financial and administrative tasks: financial planning, monitoring and control of budgets across all activities, writing new budgets.
- Management of logistics: identifying needs and establishing contracts with suppliers.
- Management of the nutrition field teams: supporting their activity planning, supervising, evaluating training needs and conducting training.
- Monitoring and evaluation of projects: development and implementation of a monitoring and evaluation system, consolidation and analysis of data and reporting.
What is the nutritional context of Mali? What are the direct causes of malnutrition?
Eventhough the area around Kita is known as the “bread basket” of the Kayes region owing to the large amount of cereals it produces, studies in the area in 2006 and 2007 showed that 50-60% of households are very vulnerable or food insecure. Studies also indicated a high rate of malnutrition in children aged 6 and 59 months in the south of the area. These rates were 10.4% for general acute malnutrition (GAM) and 1.4% for severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The direct causes of the high prevalence of malnutrition can be attributed to:
- The lack of knowledge of the population about good feeding practices.
- The lack of basic education of personal hygiene, household hygiene and above all hygiene during the preparation of food.
- The poor quality of drinking water.
- The delayed weaning of children.
- Infrequent and / or delayed visits to community health centres.
- The inability of the health system to address the problems of malnutrition.
Could you provide an example of a specific achievement which you have made in your time with ACF?
I helped organise a regional workshop on Community-Based Nutrition and Nutrition Rehabilitation and Improvement Centres.
What motivates you to go to work every day?
The knowledge that positive results can be achieved in a short space of time and the confidence that our actions will be beneficial.