Today we had the opportunity to travel into a village to check on some babies in need. We went with an amazing ministry called Serving His Children run by Renee Bach. Renee specializes in malnutrition cases. We had the opportunity to check the babies over medically looking for signs of malnutrition and dehydration.
There were 4 babies we were checking on; there was a set of twins. One of the twins was very severe and was just recovering from the measles. Renee made the decision to bring the mom and the twins back to her clinic so she could watch over them and nurse the sick one back to health. Serving His Children also taught a nutrition class that covered the signs and symptoms of malnutrition and the importance of a balanced diet. They taught the mother’s how to provide a proper balanced meal for their children and gave them examples of things readily available in the village or directly from the garden. They taught the very basics such as what are proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, vegetables and fruits. We were also able to provide 2 other mother’s with malnourished children a “Malnutrition Pack” which consists of ground up G-nuts, ground up fish, porridge and powdered milk. The mothers were giving instruction on how to prepare the malnutrition pack to help boost their baby’s nutrition.
One of the biggest problems faced is that when children in the village get sick, people think that it is due to a curse. Many of them take the children to a Traditional Healer or Witch Doctor. When you try to teach them about malnutrition and teach them about a balanced diet, they get frustrated because you are not “healing” the child right then and there. It takes time, education, trust and relationship to make a difference. We are headed back to the village in two weeks to do a follow up on the babies and to see if there is any improvement. We will pray that the education was well received and the babies will receive and benefit from the malnutrition packs provided.
During the lesson one of the mothers brought her 3 year old over to me to look at a couple of spots on his arm and on his chest. He also had a runny nose. I was able to look him over and check for an ear infection, his ears were clear of infection but just needed a good cleaning. At first he was very afraid of me working on him, but after letting him play with some of the medical equipment I was using, he warmed up enough to let me take care of him. He even got brave enough to sit with us for just a second but then went back to the comfort of his mom’s lap. I am not 100% sure but I think Megan and I were able to get a hint of a smile from him. Just before we left a Jajja (grandmother) brought me over her baby. She wanted me to look at him to make sure he was ok. His mother died during child birth and she was left to care for the baby. She came to the training to make sure that she was giving the baby the right foods. Baby Faizo was very healthy and it took some convincing for Megan and I to give him back to Jajja! I think both of us would have been content just taking him home with us.
I am anxious to learn more about malnutrition and nursing these young ones back to health. I feel a real calling to work with the children who are malnourished and it could be an amazing ministry opportunity for Kari and I to work side by side providing medical care and ministering to the mothers.
You can check out more images from our day in the village at: