We counteract hunger
How does the center work?
The nutrition center at our Saint Raphael Hospital in Ntamugenga is the only institution of this kind so well equipped in the entire province of Northern Kivu. The center helps at least 80 children every week. We help the youngest with diagnosed malnutrition, which can lead to hunger disease that poses a threat to their lives. We treat clinical malnutrition at one of our hospital wards. At the nutrition center, the children get four meals a day and food for those days, which they spend in their villages before the next visit.
The nutrition center in Congo (DRC) is usually a very calm place, because the children who have lost their appetite also lose their joy and energy. Luckily, thanks to YOU, this joy and energy are coming back!!!
When the children are eating, we teach their parents to cultivate plants in our hospital garden. They also get familiar with the basic principles of nutrition. In this way, we hope to prevent further cases of malnutrition among children. The center is supervised by two qualified employees, a cook and a nutrition specialist. Thanks to closeness of our hospital, the mothers staying at the center with their children undergo medical checks.
The nurses regularly visit their patients at home. The visits are unexpected and their aim is to check whether the guardians have been following the recommendations of the nutrition center. We check whether the parents trained at the hospital garden have established small home gardens of their own to enrich the diet of their family. The nurses also check whether the food rations received from the nutrition center are really given to children that have just recovered. They weigh and examine the children, telling their parents and guardians that they would be back with another unexpected visit.
The cost of one meal is 15 PLN. To us, it’s just as much as a cup of coffee or a glass of juice. For them, it is the only chance to regain health.