The funding allows GOAL to expand its C-MAMI programme, (Community Management of At-Risk Mothers and Infants), which has been operating in two refugee camps in Gambella, South West Ethiopia since 2016. GOAL was the first NGO to trial the C-MAMI approach globally.
The programme attempts to identify and support infants at risk of acute malnutrition within the first six months of life. Historically it has been assumed that all women would or could breastfeed, taking care of their children’s nutrition needs. However, globally it is estimated that only 36% of mothers exclusively breastfeed, where in low income countries, this can expose millions of vulnerable infants to malnutrition.
The innovative MAMI approach was conceptualised by Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), to identify and support vulnerable infants at risk of acute malnutrition within the critical period of the first six months of a child’s life. It is making tremendous progress towards helping vulnerable mothers provide for their children.
This week GOAL announced it has secured a research grant from the Eleanor Crook Foundation, in collaboration with LSHTM, ENN and Jimma University in Ethiopia, to trial the roll out of C-MAMI beyond the Gambella refugee context to parts of rural Ethiopia, with a view to scaling it up nationally.
In addition, GOAL currently has twelve months of generous DropBox Foundation funding to trial new innovations, including simple anthropometric tools to help families identify infants at risk in their own homes and the use of videos to engage families and free up nurse and health worker time. The technology leader's unique approach to the provision of unrestricted grant funding has enabled GOAL to lead in this area.
GOAL Global nutrition advisor, Hatty Barthorp, said: