Doris is an 11 month old girl (shown in photo with her mother) who was brought to an outreach clinic funded by Global Health Partnerships (GHP). Her mother said that Doris was ill with a cough and diarrhea. She appeared thin and wasted when I examined her with the Kenya nurse, and her weight and length measurements confirmed that she was suffering from severe malnutrition. She was started immediately on the ready-to-use therapeutic food supplement Plumpy’nut® in addition to antibiotics and deworming medicine, with follow-up arranged with the community health worker (CHW) for her village. During the assessment of Doris’ illness, her mother mentioned that she had brought her to a clinic about two months ago, where she was started on treatment for malnutrition. But the clinic was far from her home and she could not afford the transportation costs for the recommended return visits. Without ongoing treatment, Doris’ condition deteriorated to the point of life-threatening severe malnutrition. Fortunately the GHP outreach clinic brought services closer to her home. The CHW will check on her and give her mother a supply of Plumpy’nut every 2 weeks, and monitor her progress. This GHP community-based approach has successfully treated over 250 children with acute malnutrition.
In order to prevent death and disability from severe malnutrition, it is very important to provide the necessary therapeutic feeding for the poorest families who are most at risk. They often live far from health care facilities and they are not able to afford the transportation costs. The outreach clinics, as described in the previous report, brings the services of the “Feed Hungry Children in Kenya” therapeutic feeding program to the families most in need. In the 3 months covered by this report an additional eight young children have been treated for malnutrition. The outreach clinics provided care, including immunizations, and assessment for malnutrition, for 254 children during those 3 months (February –April 20115).
Some of the poorest families with a malnourished child, often a grandmother caring for AIDS orphans, have other hungry children in their household. Those families receive a monthly food ration in addition to the Plumpy’nut. There are now has 22 families who receive food ration and some clothing for the children.
The “Feed Hungry Children in Kenya” project provides relief from hunger and child malnutrition very effectively and efficiently. 100% of the donations that are received by GHP go directly into program services! (A GHP Board member is covering all GHP administrative expenses).
Please send us your comments, questions, and feedback about our program. What do you find most interesting or important, and what changes would you suggest?
Severe malnutrition is frequently fatal for young children (30-50% mortality) in the absence of a good care in a therapeutic feeding program. For that reason it is very important to find and treat the children suffering from acute malnutrition, though this can be a challenging task. The families that live in the rural region of southeastern Kenya where this project is located reside in villages that are widely dispersed. Extreme poverty and lack of transportation limit access to health care for the poorest families, and food insecurity increases the risk of malnutrition for their children. The nurses who work with the Global Health Partnerships (GHP) project travel to these isolated villages to conduct outreach clinics, which are coordinated by local volunteer community health workers (CHWs). The children are weighed and measured to assess their nutritional status, and immunizations are also given. The children who are found to have the more severe problems with malnutrition are enrolled in the “Feed Hungry Children in Kenya” therapeutic feeding program. In the 3 months covered by this report, 334 children under 5 years of age were provided care in the outreach clinics and assessed for malnutrition. Five of the children had severe or moderately severe malnutrition and were provided with a supply of the ready-to-use therapeutic food supplements (Plumpy’nut® or Plumpy’sup®) every 2 weeks, and growth monitoring by the CHWs. Children also received deworming treatment and vitamin A supplements as recommended for poorly nourished populations of children. The results of this therapeutic feeding program have been very good, with the majority of children fully recovered and with a mortality rate of less than 1%. The cost of each outreach clinic is only $80.
In addition to the therapeutic feeding of children with malnutrition, the project now has 21 families who receive a monthly food ration and clothing for the children from Global Health Partnerships (GHP). These families are among the poorest in Africa, and include children with malnutrition or who lost their parents from AIDS, subsistence farmers who lost their crops from drought, and children whose mother died in childbirth.
The “Feed Hungry Children in Kenya” project provides relief from the hunger and child malnutrition very effectively and efficiently. As of July 1, 2014, 100% of the donations that are received by GHP go directly into program services! (A GHP Board member is covering all GHP administrative expenses).
We would like to hear your thoughts and feedback us about our program. What do you find most valuable, and what changes would you like to see implemented?
As we prepare for our Thanksgiving day feasts, I want to share with our donors some words of “asante” (thank you in Swahili) from the families who are no longer hungry because of your donations.
From Patricia, the mother of several children: “I and my family are thankful to Global Health for the food program –thank you and God bless you!”
From Mary: “I give a lot of thanks for the support from the food program toward my family. May God bless you all!”
Justine, a staff member of Kisesini clinic who helps distribute the food aid, said: “We are very grateful for the effort that you are doing for these families by providing basic needs for them, which for us as staff we could not have managed with our own money. This morning one of the family members said she is happy for everything you are doing to support them…the food they get monthly has helped to get rid of malnutrition among their children.”
Extreme poverty and food insecurity are a reality for many of the families who live in the villages of rural Kenya. The “Feed Hungry Children in Kenya” project now has 20 families who receive a monthly food ration and clothing for the children from Global Health Partnerships (GHP). The 21st family will be added this month thanks to a generous new donor. These families are among the poorest in Africa. They include children who lost their parents from AIDS, subsistence farmers who lost their crops from drought, and children whose mother died in childbirth. With a $42 monthly donation you can feed another family on the waiting list.
As Project Leader, and one who has personally visited these families, I would like to add my message of gratitude this Thanksgiving for your generosity. Relief from the hunger and child malnutrition can be provided by GHP very effectively and efficiently. As of July 1, 2014, 100% of the donations that are received by GHP go directly into program services! (A GHP Board member is covering all GHP administrative expenses).
Please share your thoughts with us about this program. How can we expand the project to reach other children, also among the poorest, who will go hungry this Thanksgiving?
Nyamai is a widow who lives in Manooni village. She is the sole provider for her three children and one grandchild. The family has been devastated by HIV/AIDS. The father of the children died several years ago, and four children have died, one from severe malnutrition. The family lives in a one room house made of homemade bricks and mud. Nyamai sells fire wood and charcoal but is not able to earn enough to support the family with adequate food, clothing and other essentials. Her children would like to attend school, but the cost of school fees and required uniforms are not affordable with their mother’s meager income. Nicholas Mutuku, the Kenyan nurse who coordinates the “Feed Hungry Children in Kenya” project, has requested that this family be added to those who receive a monthly food ration from Global Health Partnerships (GHP).
Extreme poverty, and the hunger that accompanies this problem, are a reality for many of the families who live in the villages of rural Kenya. Those who suffer most are the poorest whose families are also stricken by AIDS and other chronic illness and who have no reliable source of income to purchase food and other essentials. The GHP project that feeds hungry children has been providing a monthly ration of food and some clothing for the children of 20 families at a monthly cost of $42 per family. The cost has been increasing due to the inflation rate in Kenya. GHP has also decided to assist with school expenses for the children of school age, because the only hope for these children to break out of the cycle of extreme poverty is with education.
The relief from the hunger and malnutrition can be provided by GHP very effectively and efficiently. As of July 1, 2014, 100% of the donations that are received by GHP go directly into program services! (A GHP Board member is covering all administrative expenses.)
Feeding children in rural Kenya who are hungry and malnourished is the major focus of this project, but the prevention of child malnutrition is also emphasized. A malnourished child cannot develop to his or her full potential and is prone to infections that can be fatal. Child feeding practices, such as the duration of exclusive breastfeeding, the types and amounts of weaning foods to give young children, and the preparation and safe storage of the food, are important issues for malnutrition prevention that can be addressed through education of mothers. But the remoteness of the Kenyan villages and extreme poverty limit access for the mothers to nutrition counseling. This is where the volunteer work of the village community health workers (CHWs) comes in. Global Health Partnerships and Kenyan health professionals trained CHWs like Alice (in photo) to provide nutrition and hygiene counseling that starts during a mother’s pregnancy and continues in monthly sessions until the child reached two years of age. The CHWs help the mothers choose a variety of local foods that optimize the nutrition of their children. They advise mothers about good hygiene practices and water treatment to avoid the frequent episodes of diarrhea that contribute to malnutrition. Since the program started in late 2011 over 300 mothers and their children have benefited from the nutrition and hygiene counseling. Thank you for the support that you have given to this project. The generous contributions from donors like you provide the vital resources to feed the children who suffer from malnutrition, and also to prevent this widespread problem from affecting many vulnerable children. Over 95% of the donations that are received by Global Health Partnerships go directly into program services!
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