Between Christmas and New Years we volunteered to help some folks from The Food Initiative. Their project was to measure pregnant or nursing mothers and all children under six years old to uncover any signs of malnutrition and then support, where indicated, with food supplements. We spent two days in seven areas of the two stakes on Tarawa. The measurements were basically BMI and age so we measured height and weight of all who came and compared that with age standards in world wide assessments. The following show various scenes of measuring, coddling and recording during the program.
Above is Courtney Polock, from Australia, measuring s few of the older children. They stepped right up for measurements. Some of the smaller ones were less inclined.
Bob Rees here soothing a child who was less inclined.
Sara Walker is shown passing out some of the treats given. These soothed a lot of intimidated souls.
At this same table, the measurements were recorded on Sara's laptop for later number crunching and results. These were provided to the Stake Presidents for use in their respective wards.
At the registration tables names were taken as well as ages, wards and the cards provided for recording the measurement results.
Here is Courtney's Mom, Liz, measuring the height of a nearly full term sister.
Tricky to stand up straight next to a post when you are sooo round.
Liz and Courtney are seen here measuring an infant. These were easier done horizontally and used this measuring pad with head and foot stops.
Occasionally, after a particularly traumatic measurement, some children just needed a Grampa's shoulder. Bob had the magic touch. Though not enamored of measuring table, they generally succumbed to his loving embrace.
Carol Armstrong, from the Island Rescue Project, weighs in this young fellow. The electronic scale was very beneficial in giving a split second measurement of weight. Sometimes that's all you got. She is assisted by our Mission Nurse, Sis Aldredge.
Some parents showed up with several children under six. Some were even accompanied by grandparents.
Sara, again at the data entry table, with help from Tekirabwareta, a young college student home on his Christmas break. His help was appreciated not only for the extra body but for translation purposes as well. He is a native Kiribati.
In the two days we evaluated nearly three hundred children and mothers. The results were only partially indicative because the survey was only among members of the church. There were no non-members involved. Still, it gave a good general idea of the breadth and depth of malnutrition on the island. We are always glad for the generosity and dedication of these volunteer groups who come to help their brothers and sisters.