Strong Food, Strong Women

ISAF Joint Command
Story by Sgt. Michael Reinsch

Date: 11.22.2010
Posted: 11.26.2010 07:19
News ID: 60908

KABUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Afghanistan - The Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team initiated the “Strong Food, Strong Women” program to teach Afghan women employed at 16 local clinics about malnutrition and ways to negate it in Panjshir province, Nov. 22.

Three Afghan women per clinic are hired from villages across the province and encouraged to become midwives. Part of their mission will be to learn how to recognize and treat malnutrition.

“The way these women benefit the local people, is there are personnel in the clinics that are familiar with the signs of malnutrition,” said Dr. Samad Karim, Line Director of Public Health for Panjshir province.

The “Strong Food” part of the program refers to a concoction of nutritious consumables mixed in a multi-vitamin enriched milk. The way the substance is made gives it a longer shelf life than normal milk, providing the Afghan people with a source of great nutrition to combat malnutrition.

“Three things determine if a child falls under malnutrition standards. They are height, weight, age, and the measurement of the upper arm circumference,” said Karim.

The Panshir PRT and the United States Agency for International Development work together to provide materials and funding to support this program.