Health
 Nepal
Project #2055

Rescue Children Suffering From Severe Malnutrition

by Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF)
Children taking a break for a healthy lunch
Children taking a break for a healthy lunch

Nearly all the homes in the district of Sindhpalchowk, nestled at the base of the Himalayas, were leveled by the earthquakes last spring. More than 3,000 district residents lost their lives and thousands more were injured.

Now NYF is helping to ensure that the district’s children don’t become malnourished while their families struggle to rebuild their lives.

We set up nine “community kitchens” at elementary schools throughout the district to provide hot, mid-day meals for the children. Their mothers learn about proper nutrition and hygiene through classes offered by our trained dieticians.

To help measure our effectiveness and establish a baseline, NYF staff surveyed the mothers about their nutrition practices and also measured and weighed the children to determine their overall health.

Malnutrition was a big problem in this tiny country before the massive earthquakes destroyed large swaths of Nepal earlier this spring. Nearly half of all Nepalese children under age five are afflicted with the condition.

NYF operates 16 nutrition clinics throughout Nepal and has educated thousands of mothers and caretakers in the basics of good nutrition.

Thank you for your support.

Namaste!

Feeding children at one of the community kitchens
Feeding children at one of the community kitchens

Links:

Baby screened for malnutrition at a health clinic
Baby screened for malnutrition at a health clinic

More than 350 children and their mothers who were displaced by the devastating earthquakes in Nepal last spring recently attended a two-day nutrition clinic hosted by NYF.

Held in a temporary settlement for earthquake survivors in Nepal’s Dhading district, the clinic was staffed by doctors, nurses and nutrition experts. A third of the children were found to be malnourished and many suffered from a range of medical conditions.

Specialists treated the children on site and taught mother’s the basics of good nutrition and hygiene. Children found to be seriously malnourished were referred to one of NYF’s 16 nutritional rehabilitation homes located throughout the country.

NYF has also established nine Community Nutrition Kitchens throughout the earthquake ravaged districts to provide nutritious meals for children and train their mothers on best nutrition practices and family hygiene.

Thank you for feeding the children of Nepal.

Namaste!

Children screened for malnutrition at clinic
Children screened for malnutrition at clinic
Doctor checks a boy
Doctor checks a boy's vital signs
Mothers and children at nutrition clinic
Mothers and children at nutrition clinic

Links:

NYF provides hearty lunch for earthquake survivors
NYF provides hearty lunch for earthquake survivors

Malnutrition was a big problem in this tiny country before the massive earthquakes destroyed large swaths of Nepal earlier this spring. Nearly half of all Nepalese children under age five are afflicted with the condition.

Sadly, relief efforts might be worsening the problem. In the immediate aftermath of the quake, relief organizations sent huge amounts of rice, noodles and biscuits to villages, Because  these foods are easy and filling, mothers were happy to serve rice, noodles and biscuits to their children three times daily.

Nepal Youth Foundation staff visited three emergency centers in Sindhupalchok, a region hard hit by the quakes, and found many children showing signs of malnourishment.

"This is an unintended consequence of relief," said NYF's President Som Paneru. “This should serve as a lesson for future disasters.'

Instead of starchy, processed food with no nutritional value, Mr. Paneru recommends that relief agencies send non-genetically modified seeds be distributed to the villagers, most of whom already farm their own land.

"Nepal is not suffering from famine or drought," said Mr. Paneru. “So instead of distributing rice, relief agencies should be distributing wheat, millet, and maize, which have ten times more nutrition. They should distribute beans which can be boiled, germinated and consumed."

The seeds would encourage people to return to their land and till the soil, a healing process in itself.

Most families lost the seeds stored inside their houses. By distributing the black lentils and soybeans currently in season, families would feel compelled to return to their homes. Mr. Paneru said that many people are afraid of recurring quakes and need to be reassured that it is safe to return.

"For farmers to go out and till their land is itself a healing process," said Mr. Paneru.

NYF operates 16 nutrition clinics throughout Nepal and has educated thousands of mothers and caretakers in the basics of good nutrition.

Links:

Asmita at admission
Asmita at admission

Weighing only 12 pounds, 22-month-old Asmita was admitted to our Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH) in Kathmandu last fall.

She was very hungry and thirsty but was too weak to eat when she arrived on September 14, 2014.

Fifteen days later, the toddler returned home healthy and smiling. And while Asmita was nursed to good health, her mother learned how to better care for her by preparing nutritious meals using locally available food.

To date, we have treated more than 13,000 children in our 16 Nutritional Rehabilitatiion Homes throughout Nepal and taught an almost equal number of mothers how to maintain their child's newfound health.

Our NRH in Kathmandu also serves as a training center and offers dietician education to health care professionals.

Thank you and dhanyabad!

Asmita 15 days later
Asmita 15 days later
Mothers receiving nutrition education at NRH
Mothers receiving nutrition education at NRH

Links:

Women and children at an outreach camp
Women and children at an outreach camp

The staff at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH) in Kathmandu screened 2,952 children last year for malnutrition during 10 outreach camps in rural communities throughout Nepal.

NYF staff referred the most severely malnourished children to the nearest NRH for treatment and educated the mothers of 1,420 others who were found to be mildly or moderately malnourished.

NYF staff conducts “Nutritional Outreach Camps” throughout the country every year to identify children who need treatment. Last year, we organized 10 such camps. NYF also conducted nutrition awareness programs in two schools from May 15-21, 2014 as part of the government’s School Health and Nutrition Week program.

In addition to treating malnourished children and teaching their mothers the basics of good nutrition, we offer Dietitian Training workshops for health professionals, focusing on diet counseling, menu preparation, nutritional awareness and improvement in kitchen management and cooking in hospitals. The 1,235 healthcare professionals and volunteers who went through the training sessions last year multiplied the effect by sharing their knowledge with other professionals in their teams.

NYF operates 16 NRH's throughout the country where severely malnourished children are nursed back to health and their mothers are taught the basics of good nutrition using affordable, locally available food.

Thank you for helping us to nourish these children.

Namaste!

Medical students attend a NRH training session
Medical students attend a NRH training session
Nutritional and health education for mothers
Nutritional and health education for mothers

Links:

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Organization Information

Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF)

Location: Sausalito, California - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.NepalYouthFoundation.org
Project Leader:
Jackie Frost
Sausalito, CA United States
$34,167 raised of $50,000 goal
 
734 donations
$15,833 to go
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