88.6% (311) mothers reported that they had a mosquito net in their houses. The average number of nets was 2, and everyone in the households slept under them.
NOTE: 92.7% of the children that had had a fever in the last 2 months was said to sleep under a mosquito net. 79.4% of the mosquito nets were in good condition, and were replaced on average every 17 months.
In reviewing the figures surrounding BF practices and patterns it can be concluded that in some areas, such as breastfeeding before the eighth hour of a child’s life, there has been progress, but in other areas, such as exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months, there has been little progress since the midterm report. One reason for this stagnancy may be that the communities are “saturated” with educational information and need more “capacity building” activities, i.e. the women need to be more involved in the interventions, and not just “empty vessels.” This is where the GALMES (breastfeeding support groups) along with the active participation of the DIRES-SM could play a larger role. One way in which Project HOPE is trying to increase the capacity of the mothers, is, in the communities where the health promoter is young, the wife of the promoter has been asked to lead the GALMES group, thus giving the women in the group a leader to look up to. This is especially important because when the health promoter, Proj. HOPE Staff, or MINSA is not around the young mothers naturally look toward the older women in the communities, and some of the advise given by these older women is not correct or healthy for the newborn. Thus, by using a young woman as an example the other young women can join together to change the unhealthy behaviors, e.g. giving honey as a first food, or giving less liquids during a diarrheal episode, etc.
On another positive note, the goal of having 20% of mothers exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life has been reached.