With your gifts on Global Giving, we have raised $15,000 towards Merlin’s emergency response to the food crisis in East Africa. Unfortunately, the crisis continues and our teams are now planning response activities into 2013. This means that we still need your support, and our next target is to reach $20,000.
Merlin has been providing nutrition services in Kerio, Turkana since 2006. As part of our response to the food crisis, last June activities in Kerio’s health facility were scaled up, and community health workers began conducting outreach visits to communities, up to six miles from the facility.
One baby identified by the health workers as severely malnourished, was eight month old Napeyok (see photo). She was referred immediately to Merlin’s outpatient therapeutic feeding program at Kerio’s health facility. At the time, Napeyok weighed 7.9lbs and had a mid-upper-arm circumference of 4.2” (a measurement of 4.3” or below indicates that a child is suffering from severe acute malnutrition). She was also suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, and tested positive for malaria.
Napeyok’s mother, Veronica Ipoo Esirete (pictured with Napeyok), had been raising six children alone in a village near to Kerio. She used to own 30 goats – the family’s source of food and livelihood, but the severe drought led to the depletion of green pastures and the death of the goats. Veronica became unable to provide breast milk (due to being malnourished herself) for the youngest children and with a continued lack of food; soon the whole family were suffering from various degrees of malnourishment.
Once Merlin began caring for Napeyok, her condition steadily improved. She was given medication and supplies of PlumpyNut (a highly nutritious peanut butter paste packed with calories and vitamins, especially formulated to help nourish children) by Merlin health workers and her mom brought her to the clinic every week for check ups. By November, Napeyok was still malnourished, but only moderately so, and was transferred to a supplementary feeding program – where children are given regular meals of corn-soya blend (a fortified porridge). In January of this year, Napeyok was finally discharged from the feeding program completely.
Napeyok is now 16 months old, and her family has moved in with relatives in Kerio who share their meals of beans and maize in return for Veronica fetching firewood and water. It is a temporary solution, but ensures that the family does not go hungry, and allows the family to begin building up thier livestock again.
Veronica says thank you and adds, if it were not for Merlin, Napeyok, who was so weak and is always vulnerable to illnesses, would not have survived.
If you love our work, then tell the world! You have an exciting opportunity to help Merlin (Medical Emergency Relief International) make even more of a difference. GreatNonprofits - a site like Amazon Book Reviews or TripAdvisor - is a website where people can share their stories about nonprofits that they really believe in.
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With your help, we can increase awareness, gain visibility and raise support for our health and nutrition care in east Africa and around the world.
Thank you from everyone at Merlin.
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