Global Health Partnerships Inc

Global Health Partnerships (GHP) is an organization of medical professionals and other volunteers who work as partners with local organizations, Ministries of Health, and local health care providers to improve the health and well-being of the poor. GHP provides humanitarian aid, medication and supplies, and medical services and training of local health workers .
May 6, 2016

Successful treatment of child malnutrition

Mary with her mother in Ndiuni village
Mary with her mother in Ndiuni village

The families who eke out a living through subsistence farming in the village of Ndiuni have had a difficult time lately. The unpredictable weather and lack of sufficient rainfall have resulted in crop losses and lack of enough food. This places the children at great risk of hunger and starvation. Mary (shown in the photo) was 18 months old when her mother brought her to the medical team that conducts outreach clinic for the GHP “Feed Hungry Children in Kenya” project. The medical evaluation revealed that Mary suffered from malnutrition, like so many other children in the isolated villages of this part of eastern Kenya. With therapeutic feeding and close follow-up by the community health workers, Mary has recovered and is now a normal active child.

The GHP outreach clinics have continued to provide vital services twice a month for young children in remote villages, including Ndiuni. In the three months (February through April 2016) since the last report, 269 children were seen in the GHP outreach clinics, and 14 of them were treated for malnutrition through the therapeutic feeding program.

In addition to the outreach clinics, 24 families are enrolled in the GHP program of feeding the poorest and receive a monthly food ration, plus the support needed for their children to stay in school.

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. What do you find most interesting in the reports? Please let us know if there are aspects of the program for which you would like more detailed information?

Feb 9, 2016

Child development after malnutrition treatment

Developmental assessment of a child
Developmental assessment of a child

When children suffer from hunger and poor nutrition, the consequences can be more than stunted growth. Child malnutrition affects brain development and can have important long-term effects such as lower educational achievement and reduced economic productivity in adulthood. So what happens to the children who receive treatment in therapeutic feeding programs such as the Global Health Partnerships (GHP) project in Kenya? Are they all destined to have permanent brain damage with reduced mental and physical function? Or can these young children develop more normally after malnutrition has been detected and they receive appropriate treatment? The answers to these important questions are not clear, because very few studies have been done that followed and assessed the development of these children after treatment.

In an ongoing effort to evaluate the effectiveness of our projects, GHP conducted a study of the developmental outcome of children who have been enrolled in our GlobalGiving “Feed Hungry Children in Kenya” project. GHP received assistance and funding for this study from the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Medicine. The evaluators used the Malawi Developmental Assessment Tool (MDAT) to assess child development. The MDAT is more culturally appropriate for rural African children than the methods used in the USA and other Western developed countries. The community health workers located 100 of the children who had been treated for malnutrition in the GHP therapeutic feeding project. All of these children recovered (“graduated” from the program) at least one year before their development was assessed. A group of children who had never suffered from malnutrition was also assessed as a “control” or comparison group. The data are still being analyzed by the research team, but the results appear to be very encouraging. The impression of the health are professionals who conducted the assessments is that the children who were treated for malnutrition are doing very well in regard to their mental and physical development. A complete summary of all of the results of this study will be presented in a future GlobalGiving report.

The GHP outreach clinics have continued to provide the vital services for young children in remote villages who are at risk of malnutrition. In the three months (November 2015 through January 2016) since the last report, 304 children were seen in the GHP outreach clinics, and 3 of them were treated for malnutrition. All of the children were weighed and measured to assess their growth and immunizations were given. A total of 22 malnourished children are currently enrolled in the therapeutic feeding program and all of them are recovering.

In addition to the outreach clinics, 24 families are enrolled in the GHP program of feeding the poorest and receive a monthly food ration.

Stay tuned for the final results of the important study on long-term follow-up of the children who have been treated for malnutrition. GHP will continue to seek evidence-based solutions for the problem of child hunger and malnutrition in Kenya. Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. What do you find most interesting in the reports? Are there aspects of the program for which you would like more detailed information?

Nov 10, 2015

Village-based Treatment of Child Malnutrition

Angela feeding her child at the outreach clinic
Angela feeding her child at the outreach clinic

     Angela lives in a remote Kenyan village. Several months ago she brought her infant son Muli to a health center because he was ill. Angela was told that Muli was severely underweight and in need of treatment for his malnutrition, so she was given the food supplement Plumpy’nut. A follow-up visit was recommended, but Angela was unable to return due to the long distance from her home to the health center and lack of transportation. When she ran out of the Plumpy’nut, Muli’s weight faltered and he became ill again. Fortunately around that time the Global Health Partnerships (GHP) team conducted an outreach clinic near her home. Angela walked to the outreach clinic with Muli, and the child’s assessment indicated that he was suffering again from malnutrition. He was enrolled in the GHP therapeutic feeding program and Angela was given a supply of the food supplement for him. Muli was also treated with antibiotics for infection. This time Muli’s treatment will more likely be successful because the community health worker (CHW) for her village will follow-up on a home visit to be sure that he is recovering, and to replenish the supply of the therapeutic food supplement. The CHW will also be counseling Angela and other mothers of her village about proper child feeding practices and hygiene to prevent infection.

     Therapeutic feeding programs have been shown to be highly successful in the treatment of child malnutrition. But access to this treatment is difficult for many of the poorest families who live in remote villages. The GHP outreach clinics and the community-based CHW program provide the vital services that these families need.
In the three months (August through October 2015) since the last report, 274 children were seen in the GHP outreach clinics, and 17 of them were treated for moderate or severe malnutrition. The children were weighed and measured to assess their growth and immunizations were given.

In addition to the outreach clinics, 24 families are enrolled in the GHP program of feeding the poorest and receive a monthly food ration.

GHP strives to provide evidence-based solutions for the problem of child hunger and malnutrition in Kenya. Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. What do you consider most interesting? Are there aspects of the program for which you would like more detailed information?

CHW weighing a child during outreach clinic
CHW weighing a child during outreach clinic
 
   

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