What can a seven-year-old child whose mother is ill do? A child who has no one willing to take her into their care?
Little Lydia comes from a poor home where she never had the certainty of eating even one meal a day. Her mother’s illness shook their already unstable situation, leaving the little girl without care. Then, unbeknownst to the other family members (the mother was now the main focus), little Lydia also began to fall ill….
Kilogram by kilogram, she lost weight along with her smile and any strength to even ask for a handful of porridge. Little Lydia became apathetic and stopped eating altogether, which resulted in her being taken into the care of Sister Agnieszka and the hospital in Ntamugenga.
Her condition was serious, although her family may not have noticed it. Malnutrition is an insidious condition. The swelling of the face, abdomen and legs masks the underlying problem that is affecting the whole young body. The oedema and water retention create the illusion that the child is gaining weight. The girl came to us with kwashiorkor! This, if left untreated, is always a fatal disease.
Some of the symptoms, such as cracked skin or dull and greying hair, are visible to the naked eye. Others, the more serious ones, are often invisible – such as damage to internal organs and neurological problems.
The treatment of kwashiorkor is complicated. We need to manage the girl’s blood glucose problems and always keep an eye on electrolyte levels. Her young body is weakened, so any virus becomes a severe threat. We will be nourishing the girl for a very long time so that her body not only receives all the proteins she so urgently needs now, but also vitamins and minerals. Stand by our side in the fight for Lydia’s life and health. Without you it is not possible!
At the Ntamugenga Nutrition Centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo, life moves to a different rhythm. Here we measure time with administered IVs, portions of F-100 therapeutic milk and nutritional vitamin formulas for older children. Donate a full cup of a therapeutic meal to Lydia (which costs as little (or as much) as 15 PLN). The nutritional therapy in our centre is a GUARANTEE for Lydia’s recovery! Face the challenge with us and bring back a smile to a girl who needs us so much right now!