In partnership with the nonprofit Vitamin Angels, Holt’s nutrition team helps bring vital supplements and medication to vulnerable women and children in rural Uganda.
In October 2018, Holt’s nutrition team launched a partnership with Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides vitamins and deworming medication to mothers and children under age 5 who are at risk of malnutrition.
When vulnerable families and children receive these essential vitamins, they experience a reduction in preventable illness, blindness, poor birth outcomes and even death. When children are healthier, they experience better growth and development, perform better in school and their families have better economic outcomes. Vitamin Angels also provides prenatal vitamins to pregnant women, which helps prevent birth defects and creates a healthier pregnancy for both mom and baby.
This partnership is a wonderful match for both of our organizations as we work together toward a common goal of creating healthier futures for children and families.
We began our work with Vitamin Angels in Uganda. Alongside local partners, we developed a strategy to reach pregnant women and children in hard-to-reach rural areas who were at risk of malnutrition and began holding quarterly “child health days” where we not only provided essential vitamins, but also medication, education, support and health services.
Before the program began, the Vitamin Angel team in Uganda trained Holt staff on how to teach others to provide vitamin A supplements, deworming medication and prenatal vitamins. Our team in Uganda then worked with their government partners to train 32 healthcare workers from four government health centers. Together with this trained team of healthcare workers, our Holt team in Uganda hosted their first four health days in December 2018 and March 2019.
They saw an amazing response from the community — providing vitamins and medication for 2,340 infants and children and 100 pregnant women!
This community turnout really highlighted the need that exists in these areas and the commitment families have to their babies and children, traveling from remote areas to ensure their children received these vital supplements.
This success also helped to build the community’s awareness of available resources and support. It also further strengthened our relationships with local government health centers, which provide many services to families and children but sometimes need help reaching families living in remote areas. During the child health days, the government centers committed their staff time and additional medication to reach even more children.
With additional support from Vitamin Angels, we hosted four more health days in June and October 2019 — reaching another 5,504 children and 200 pregnant women!
As a next step, we hope to work with local schools in Uganda to provide these essential vitamins to even more women and children living in impoverished areas. Through continued partnership with the government and Vitamin Angels, we are working to reach thousands of families and strengthen communities throughout Uganda!
Everywhere Holt works, we ally with strong partners to better serve vulnerable families — and this program really highlights the benefit of that approach. This year, we expect to double the number of people we reach through our nutrition program, and our wonderful partners will be there right by our side — ensuring all families and children have the opportunity to be well-nourished and live healthy lives.
Emily DeLacey | Nutrition and Health Programs Director