Mother’s Day is just around the corner! We at 2 Degrees are celebrating the hard work that mothers do around the globe to care for their children. Indeed, everyone alive today has a mother to thank for being here.
All mothers want to see their children healthy and happy. Yet some mothers have inadequate resources to provide for their children. It is these mothers especially that we want to recognize on this holiday.
What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to give a helping hand to a mother in need?
As the world’s first one for one food company we offer you a way to help needy mothers care for their children. Buy any of our vegan, gluten-free bars and we give a meal a hungry child — this week we also have a 10% off Mother’s Day promotion. It’s a healthy bar for you and a critical meal for a child. These meal donations can make a world of difference for the child — and the mother too.
Action Against Hunger is one of the leading non-profit partners that delivers our meals to children. Let’s join them on the ground in Kenya to better understand the impact these meals can make on families.
As baby Abdullahi sits with her mother, eyes shining, smiling and playing happily, it is hard to believe that just a few weeks ago the little seven-month-year-old girl was suffering from severe acute malnutrition and was at dangerous risk of dying.
Her young mother, Halima, aged 17, had tried everything in her power to make her baby better but Abdullahi was growing weaker and frailer by the day, and no longer had any energy left to play or even smile.
Families in crisis
Kenya is suffering its worst drought in over 60 years and Halima and Abdullahi’s town of Sericho, in the north east, is one of the worst affected regions. As water sources are drying up, crops and livestock have been destroyed and food prices at markets are skyrocketing. Families across the region are left devastated, with no means of feeding themselves or their children.
Action Against Hunger is providing emergency water and food supplies to families and are helping communities protect themselves against future drought. Teams are visiting villages across the region to identify and treat children suffering from malnutrition.
A very sick little girl
Halima says: “My little baby was very sick for more than three weeks. She was coughing a lot and was suffering from diarrhoea. I had taken her to local doctors and traditional healers many times but she was not getting any better. This really made me worry very much as she was very weak. During this time Action Against Hunger came to our village and told us that children could be taken to a hospital to have their weight assessed. They assured me that my baby would be fine if I took their advice and took her for treatment.”
Action Against Hunger is working with local health authorities to build their capacities and skills in diagnosing malnutrition and providing specialised treatment. By improving facilities at local levels, families in traditionally hard to reach areas, such as Halima’s village, are now able to visit their local health clinics to access the care they so urgently need.
Abdullahi was weighed and measured to be 5.2kg and 69cm tall – far too low for her age. She also had a high fever and the health workers quickly realised that she was severely malnourished and in need of urgent treatment. She was admitted to the in-patient programme to receive 24 hour around-the-clock care and special therapeutic foods to nurse her to full health.
The road to recovery
Halima continues: “I was told that my baby would need to stay in the hospital for the next few days. The nurses were very concerned about her and fed her with small amounts of special milk every three hours throughout the night. After three days her diarrhoea had stopped and she looked much brighter. On the fourth day, Abdullahi was put on different nutritious formulas to help her gain weight and after six days she finally had the strength to smile again. It was then that I definitely knew it had been malnutrition that had caused her suffering. I was so happy that she was getting better.”
After eight days in care, Abdullahi weighed 5.8kgs and was well enough to return home to the village with her mother. Halima was given packets of therapeutic foods to continue her treatment at home. She would now be enrolled in the outpatient therapeutic programme, with weekly visits to assess her progress.
Halima says: “The treatment has done wonders for her body – I never thought that I would see my child looking so healthy.”
Now Halima is helping other mothers in the region to recognise the signs of malnutrition and take their children to Action Against Hunger facilities when they are unwell.
She says: “My hope is that Abdullahi will grow in strength and one day will be able to work in the community as a nurse to help other sick children, as she has been helped.”
[Except from http://www.actionagainsthunger.org.uk/emergencies/east-africa-food-crisis/baby-abdullahis-story/]