Below is from a success story from a field report compiled in part by RMF volunteer Lisa Suen who traveled all the way from Los Angeles to join our team fighting malnutrition and HIV/AIDS in Madhya Pradesh, India:
Today, we went on a field visit to the village of Devigrah where our nutrition coordinators, along with the village liaison, were able to identify one village child whose condition suggested treatment at the Nutrition Rehabilitation Center (NRC).
The child was one-year old Baby William whose mother reported that he had been sick and vomiting recently, complications that can lead to malnutrition and can prove fatal for a child already weak or acutely malnourished. Baby William’s glossy eyes and lack of energy suggested malnutrition even at a glance.
Using the Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) evaluation, Baby William was diagnosed the spot and with an upper arm circumference of only 11.1 CM the one-year old was not only malnourished, but was suffering Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and needed immediate treatment.
The Community Nutrition Educator, Soniya, counseled the mother about the severity of William’s condition being careful to mention that his illness was most likely the cause. While SAM is a serious and potentially deadly condition, weakening the immune system and often leading to infections such as respiratory illness or diarrhea in young children, our team has been trained to remain sensitive to the feelings of the mother when explaining their child’s condition and to make sure that mothers do not feel accused of failing to take care of their children.
By being sensitive to the feelings of the families as a whole, we have found that there is an increased openness for further education about malnutrition, especially when it comes to the importance of taking their children to Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers (NRC) for more thorough evaluation and immediate treatment.
Mother and baby did arrive at the NRC in Jhabua the next day and William was put on a 14 to 21 day treatment schedule.
In the course of his stay, Baby William will undergo a comprehensive physical assessment which will evaluate blood sugar and electrolyte levels; vital signs; signs and symptoms of infection, including eye drainage, mouth sores, extremely low or high temperatures; and the presence of shock or severe dehydration.
This successful referral will ensure that Baby William will receive required feedings essential in his health recovery. He is one example of success, one child at a time, in the efforts of Real Medicine Foundation to eradicate malnutrition in the impoverished villages of Madhya Pradesh through education and treatment.