Project #8748

Emerg Nutrition & Health Care, East Africa Crisis

by Save the Children Federation
Jul 10, 2013

Merlin's Work in Turkana

Napeyok Esirete with his mother in Kerio, Turkana.
Napeyok Esirete with his mother in Kerio, Turkana.

Merlin has been providing nutrition services in Kerio— one region of Turkana province—since  2006. When the food crisis set in last year, existing activities in Kerio’s health facility were scaled up, and community health workers began conducting outreach visits to communities up to six miles away from the facility.

One baby identified as severely malnourished by the health workers was eight month old Napeyok.  She was immediately referred to Merlin’s outpatient therapeutic program at Kerio’s health facility.

At the time she weighed about eight pounds and had a mid-upper- arm circumference of 4.29 inches (a measurement of 4.3 inches or below indicates that a child is suffering from severe acute malnutrition). She was also suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, as well as, testing positive for malaria.

Napeyok’s mother - Veronica Ipoo— had been raising six children alone in a village near to Kerio.  She had 30 goats—the family’s source of food and livelihood. The severe drought led to the depletion of green pastures and the death of the goats.  The family became malnourished, including Veronica herself, who became unable to provide breast milk to the youngest ones.

However, Napeyok’s condition steadily improved after being given medication and supplies of PlumpyNut (a highly nutritious peanut butter paste packed with calories and vitamins, especially formulated to renourish starving children) by Merlin health workers, and attending consultations every week.  By November she was still malnourished, but only moderately so, and was transferred to a supplementary feeding program. After a further two months of receiving a corn-soya blend (a fortified porridge), she was finally discharged in January.

Napeyok is now sixteen months old, and the family has moved in with relatives in Kerio who share their meals of beans and maize in return for firewood and water fetched by Veronica.  It is a temporary solution, but ensures that the family does not go hungry, and allows Veronica to begin building up her livestock again.  She says that, if it were not for Merlin, Napeyok - once so weak and prone to illnesses – would not have survived.

Kerio Merlin Stabilization Center, Turkana, Kenya
Kerio Merlin Stabilization Center, Turkana, Kenya
Family leaving the stabilization center with food.
Family leaving the stabilization center with food.

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Save the Children Federation

Location: Fairfield, CT - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Penelope Crump
Westport, CT United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Support another project run by Save the Children Federation that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.