Malnutrition Unit

TizaMeet Tiza, in 2006, two years after the children’s hospital was founded, we found Tiza, whose family had just been evicted from their home. Tiza was suffering from extreme malnutrition.  She was two years old and weighed less than ten pounds.

We admitted her into the hospital and sought advice from UNICEF about how to treat a severely malnourished child. Tiza’s admission marked a new beginning for the hospital as we quickly understood the great need for a malnutrition unit.

With the support of UNICEF training we have become the only malnutrition unit in the city and state of Varanasi, northern India.

Since Tiza’s admission in 2006 we have admitted hundreds of severely malnourished children.  With severe malnutrition you cannot just feed the child, the food they given has to be properly regulated, if administered wrongly they can die.  In addition to this they are often suffering from infections and other conditions.

The World Bank estimates that India is ranked 2nd in the world of the number of children suffering from malnutrition. In India 44% of children under the age of 5 are underweight and 72% of infants have anemia.

Our average cost for a two week admission to the unit is approximately €50, this includes the admission of the mother and sometimes of siblings.  This includes the food and medication for the child and the mother (and siblings) and our local team teach household budget management, e.g. how to make the most of the money they have for food, to buy the most nutritious food and healthier ways to prepare it.

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Untitled from paddy mc mahon on Vimeo.