Health program saves 3-year-old girl
A Kenyan child’s life is saved through FH feeding program
In 2011, 13 million Africans experienced a food crisis in the Horn of Africa – Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. They suffered the worst drought in 60 years, with the lack of water killing crops and livestock.
As Kenya recovers today from this devastating drought, many people still need support in finding sufficient food.
Food for the Hungry set up an outpatient therapeutic program throughout the country to help malnourished children and adults. These programs provide vitamins and other nutritious support for people on the brink of starvation.
For a single mother of four children, the drought and resulting food crisis caused extreme suffering and hunger. Without an income or any way to find food, the mother of Elema Abduba brought her daughter into one of FH’s facilities for help.
Elema, age 3, suffered from severe malnutrition. She was swollen, her sparse, black hair had turned red and she had diarrhea. She had problems with her liver, pancreas and blood.
Elema weighed 19 pounds and was close to dying.
Because of partners like you, she started receiving a peanut-based therapeutic meal called Plumpy’nut®. The meal is high in protein and is used for severely malnourished children to help them survive and being to regain weight.
Within one and half months of the treatment, Elema weighed 29 lbs.
She still suffers complications from malnutrition, but she continues to be monitored and given support. Please pray for Elema—and thank you for your gifts that help children like her worldwide.
More than rice and beans
Feeding program in Nicaragua boosts children’s health
Do you remember eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when you were a child?
They were easy to make. Easy to put in a lunchbox. They were delicious. But unfortunately, not very nutritional. Luckily, in America, this common lunch staple was not our only option.
In many small communities where Food for the Hungry works, school children are fed the same meal every day. That’s what’s available. For children in El Porvenir, Nicaragua, that meal was cereal or rice and beans.
These meals did not provide the children with very much nutrition.
But thanks to the donations of soup to FH/Canada from the Fraser Valley Gleaners and the Okanagan Gleaners, children in this community now have another option.
Last year, a soup distribution feeding program started in El Porvenir. The school started receiving dehydrated vegetable soup mix. According to Ruth Rivas, a school staff member, the soup contains more nutritional benefits, including vitamins.
At first the children were not used to the strong flavor in the soup, but the school staff learned to prepare the soup in different ways and combined it with rice, beans, vegetables, and sometimes, chicken.
Since the food distribution began, Ruth has noticed positive changes in the children’s attention span and how well they learn and actively participate in class.
Boy suffers from nodding syndrome
Ugandan boy on the road to healing from mysterious nodding disease
Baffling medical experts, thousands of children ages 5-15 in Uganda are suffering from nodding syndrome. Immediate symptoms are seizures that cause the child to nod their heads uncontrollably. Long term symptoms include mental retardation, stunted growth and death.
Ochola Patrick was the first child in the Food for the Hungry community of Tepwoyo, Uganda, to be identified with the disease.
His mother first noticed symptoms of the disease five years ago, but thought her son was bewitched. She consulted medicine men and tried their solutions, but Ochola didn’t improve.
She took him to a health center, but they were unable to treat or diagnose him. Her heart broke as she watched her son’s health decline.
He would try to act like a normal boy and climb trees. She saw him fall from a tree after having a nodding seizure. After the incident, she would monitor him closely and was forced to tie him to a tree, when she went to work in her garden.
Thanks to the financial support of faithful partners like you, Food for the Hungry staff were able to visit Ochola’s home and pray with his family. They helped his mother bring Ochola to the nodding syndrome treatment center in the town of Kitgum.
Now, Ochola is back at home. He has been damaged by the disease and cannot attend school. However, his mother knows how to care for him with a nutritious diet and medical treatments.
With Ochola and many other children affected by this disease, Food for the hungry is seeking out children who have dropped out of school to bring them to nodding syndrome treatment centers.
Like Ochola’s mother, many families associate the disease with dead spirits. Also, impoverished families cannot provide proper nutrition or treatment for their children.
Please pray for these children being affected by this heart-breaking syndrome. Please pray for FH as we educate and mobilize communities to help bring affected children to treatment centers for proper care.
MUAC readings: how do they measure the health of children?
Mothers in Mozambique help each other recognize malnutrition and take action
MUAC (Mid-Upper Arm Circumference) is a useful tool in assessing the nutritional status in children, particularly the children in the communities Food for the Hungry works in.
A flexible, color-coded measuring tape is wrapped around a child’s arm to indicate the level of malnutrition.
One day while making her weekly home visits, a mother leader from a small community in Mozambique noticed a child was looking ill. She took his MUAC reading and found that it was in the red stage.
Her health training prompted her to immediately refer the child to the nearest health post. Terno, the malnourished child, spent one week in Maringue hospital and then returned to his mother. This time his MUAC reading was in the yellow stage, a vast improvement.
But the help didn’t stop there.
Financial support from faithful partners like you is helping, mother leaders not only be trained by FH staff on making home visits, but they learn valuable health knowledge to pass on to other mothers.
This mother leader taught Terno’s mother how to feed him by giving him porridge and locally available ingredients, like ground peanuts, sesame seeds, malabre (fruit from the Baobab tree that is rich in iron and Vitamin C) and moringa leaves ( rich in protein and Vitamins C and A).
The best part is, not only has Terno’s health drastically improved, but his mother heeded the heath advice of the mother leader. Now, Terno’s mother counsels others mothers on what nutritious foods to feed their children. Life-saving information is being passed throughout the community.
Thank you for helping us to teach and empower mothers to live healthy, nourish their children and share their knowledge with others!
You can help us make more stories like these a reality. Prayerfully consider a gift today to Help Hungry People.