How we treated Lily for malnutrition
Fearing for her daughter’s life, Frida sought the help of her neighbour Mary, who was part of the Safe Mothers Action Group supported by ChildFund.
Mary advised Frida to take Lily immediately for a growth monitoring session supported by ChildFund at the local health clinic.
Lily’s weight had dropped to a low of 3.8kg, from 5.1kg just three months before. She was diagnosed with malnutrition and was placed on a supplementary feeding program consisting of a peanut-based paste high in vitamins and minerals.
The peanut paste is a type of supplementary food given to treat malnutrition, a frequent cause of death for children under the age of five.
“I was supposed to be giving Lily three bottles a day of the supplementary food, but at the beginning Lily could not even manage to finish one bottle,” Frida says.
“It took months before she could finish three bottles because she was just too weak. But as she began to eat more, her health started to improve.”
How we help prevent and identify malnutrition
There are a few strategies in place to ensure we identify and prevent cases of malnutrition:
- Growth monitoring sessions
- Vitamin supplements
- Prenatal check-ups for mothers
Once children are born, mothers learn about good nutrition for their babies. This training helps mothers identify any problems early, and understand how much food is required to keep their babies healthy.
Lily’s recovery: a child’s health restored
Within a month Lily had gained just over 2kg. She continued on the supplementary feeding program alongside a diet of cornmeal porridge and vegetables for another four months before returning to a stable and healthy weight.
Today Lily weighs almost 10kg and is a happy and healthy toddler.
“Lily is now doing much better now,” Frida says. “She’s eating well and plays a lot with her friends.”