This 12 year old boy instantly found a place in my heart three weeks ago just before I returned to Ireland. I think it was because of the most human way he cared for his severely malnourished little sister. He is blind or so we were told. One of our staff noticed that he appeared to have some sight and from there he was taken to an eye specialist and through simple vitamin A injections he has gone from 10% sight to 30%. They tell me that the Doctor believes that he will gain some more sight although irreversible damage has been done.
As beautiful as this story is it is as equally shocking and sad that this can happen to the children in our world. My Hand to yours I offer to you little man.
As hard as it is to believe Ananfya was four and a half years when we met her and weighed only 10 pounds. She still was not walking and required intensive physio. She was being taken care of by her Grandmother. Her outcome was difficult to predict.
But after treatment both Ananfya and her sister made good recoveries and began to walk. Watch the video below to see what great progress they made. For me it is always a beautiful moment when a child begins to walk. My expression in this picture will be her joy in a week or so when she gets stronger
Bano, is 2 years old and weighs 11 pounds in this image. When she came into us she was almost on her last breaths just 10 minutes later and her life would have been no more. Oxygen was started and intravenous fluids. Very careful care and feeding is making her well.She is simply and perfectly a child.
21 July. This is little Bano today, she pulled througn, ready at a moments opportunity to show her childs spirit. life is life, precious and perfect!
Little Tinku. We found him, or he found us, who can say, at our mobile clinic in a critical condition. He was rushed to our hospital where he was put on oxygen and received a blood transfusion. He is 1 year old and weighs just 12 pounds. His little body was saying “no more” and giving up. We said “more”. One more day and it would have been too late. He was granted this day and so life. He has made a full recovery. Well done us.
When we met Chandni she was one and a half and weighed 2.5 kg
She was suffering from severe malnutrition: look at her tiny legs, she is just skin and bone. Happily for us, and her, she was not sick when she came to us. Through a two week stay in our unit of very very careful feeding and education, she was discharged from our unit well. With a follow up program lasting 6 months she was discharged completely from us. Well done us!
Nutritional supplements and vitamins given to prevent malnutrition and build up their natural immunity so that they don’t become sick. Health promotion is our corner stone.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Dear Reena, she was and i am sure is still a feisty one! When we came upon her she was severely malnurished Our first aim is to treat a the child at home if possible, and only the severest cases are admitted to our unit. We provide supplementary food support for a period and then teach the family about managing the money they have for food every day. We teach them about healthy cheap food options, and about ways of cooking that keep the most nutritional value. Our health workers are all Indian women and much of this is knowledge that has been lost through the generations (sound familiar?). Reena’s Grandmother died about two weeks after this photo was taken and the children left the state to join their parents who were in another state looking for work and sending money home every month. Because of the time we had with Reena to make her strong we are sure Reena is being as determined as ever.
Reena after 3 months of medical care and nutritional supplements.
Regina received assistance for breast-feeding.
Because of lack of food her mother had virtually no breast milk. We supplied Regina with milk powder for 4 months until she started to take solid food. Our follow up program saw her doing well and the cost of all treatment was about 50 Euro.
We met Priya when she was 7 years old and weighed 8 kg.
Priya had a nutritional deficiency causing partial blindness and rickets (rachitis), something that was very common Ireland up to 40 or 50 years ago. She is fully cured now.
When we met Jothu he was two and a half and weighed just 4.5kg. The normal weight for a child of that age is 8.5 kg. He was suffering from severe malnutrition and we feared for his life.
Let me tell you a short story: The Varanasi Children’s Hospital is the only malnutrition center in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This is the largest state in India, with a population of 180 million people and it is widely regarded as one of the poorest. We set up the unit according to UNICEF guidelines and training and we remain the only malnutrition center for the city of Varanasi. On the Friday before Jothu arrived, we got the last of the three required government ministers to grant permission to allow us to take referrals from government workers.
On Sunday morning, little Jothu was turned away from 3 government hospitals. Fortunately a government worker sent him to us. He was critically ill, almost on his last breath. 10 or 15 minutes more and he would have been no more. With proper treatment Jothu survived and is gaining strength.