Feed hungry children in Kenya

by Global Health Partnerships Inc
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
Feed hungry children in Kenya
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?

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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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Peter with 2 of his children
Peter with 2 of his children

Peter Kaindi is a single parent of 8 children. He tries to support his family by doing day labor odd jobs. He earns about $1.50 per day. His wife died from cancer. All nine family members live in the 2 rooms of a crude mud brick house with dirt floor and no latrine. Five of the children are school-age but three of them have dropped out because their father has not been able to afford the fees and uniforms. A generous GHP donor has offered to pay for a monthly food ration to help keep this family from going hungry and is also covering the school expenses so that the children can attend school. The same donor has decided to cover the monthly food ration for another family, a grandmother caring for her two orphaned grandchildren. These two families now bring the total to 24 families enrolled in the Global Health Partnerships (GHP) program of feeding the poorest.

In the three months (May through July 2015) since the last report the GHP outreach clinics provided screening and medical care, including immunizations and assessment for malnutrition for 225 children. Four children were treated for moderate or severe malnutrition.

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).

Any comments or suggestions that you might have about our program would be greatly appreciated. What do you consider most interesting? What changes would you like to see?

Children in front of their home
Children in front of their home
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Doris with her mother
Doris with her mother

     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?

Assessing nutrition status in outreach clinic
Assessing nutrition status in outreach clinic
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Assessing a child for malnutrition
Assessing a child for malnutrition

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?

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Global Health Partnerships Inc

Location: Albuquerque, NM - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Angelo Tomedi
Project Leader
Albuquerque, New Mexico United States
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