Nutrition and Education: Keys to Long-Term Child Care

Nutrition and Education: Keys to Long-Term Child Care

Most 10-month-old babies are full of energy and the kind of wriggly joy and curiosity that only babies have. But when little Albertina arrived at the nutrition clinic near Ganda in Angola, she was listless, painfully thin and very near death.

Albertina lives with her mother and father in a small mud shack in a community three kilometres from the local hospital and nutrition centre where Albertina was treated.  The family lives with very few necessities. Running water and safe sanitation is not a luxury they are able to afford. Finding enough to eat is a constant struggle for the family which, combined with poor nutrition education,

A few weeks before her mother brought her to the nutrition centre, Albertina became very ill with a fever and coughing, rapidly losing weight, also becoming increasingly listless and fretful.  Her mother attempted to self-medicate her with local medicines, but after these remedies failed to stop the decline in Albertina’s health, she made the three-kilometre trip from her home to the local hospital.

After testing Albertina, the hospital clinicians diagnosed her with severe malnutrition and anaemia and referred her to the nutrition centre where JAM provides nutritional supplement support.

Albertina was given a formula that is used to stabilise the weight of malnourished patients, and during the two weeks of her stay at the nutrition clinic, her mother also received valuable information about the nutritional needs of her family.

When Albertina’s weight had stabilised, and she was ready to be discharged, her family also received a nutritional rice food supplement provided by JAM International food partner, Feed My Starving Children, which includes protein, carbohydrates and key nutrients and has become a valuable source of nutrition for the family.

“I was so afraid that my little girl would die.” Says Albertina’s mother, “and after spending time with the JAM team at the nutritional clinic I have realised the importance of different foods, not just for Albertina, but for my husband and myself.’  She says. “I will be sharing this information and Albertina’s story with others in my community and I hope this will help other mothers to avoid their children becoming as ill as Albertina did.”

Learn more about our Food and Nutrition initiatives here