Country: Ethiopia

Project: Therapeutic Feeding Unit at St Luke’s hospital

Title: Lifesaving nutrition treatment

People: Child – Lomi Eshetu aged 3  Mother – Lulifa Yessa

  • Lomi and her mother live in a village called Tchetu and Lulifa has 5 children in total, Lomi is the youngest.
  • The family are farmers in a remote community about 20km from Wolisso. The family income is between Br 300 and 500 (£12-20) a month.  More in harvest times, less in between which makes money really hard to manage.
  • When we met Lomi and her Mum they had been in the TFDU for 2 weeks.
  • They were visited in their home by a Health Extension Worker (who had been trained by CiC) – and she was very concerned with Lomi. She had swelling all over her body, skin was bleeding and cracking all over, she could not hold down food and had severe diarrhoea – “I didn’t know what to do” said Lulifa.
  • “when the health worker came she told me we had to go to the hospital as she did not know what was wrong but Lomi was severely malnourished and seriously ill.”
  • “when we arrived Lomi could hardly breath and I was crying. The nurses were amazing.”
  • The nurse at the TFU (name: Hiwot Wagari) immediately gave her nutritional drip and started to treat the symptoms of sickness. Within 2 weeks the symptoms had cleared up and Lomi was starting to eat normally again. “We hope that she can go home in 2 weeks’ time.  She is getting stronger now.”
  • During the next 2 weeks Lulifda will also be trained in nutrition and how to cook locally available foods that are nutritious and good for her and the whole family. She will also learn about good sanitation and hygiene practice around the house.  All of these areas are important for a child’s nutritional security.
  • These examples of a very sick child returning to the village alive and well helps build awareness of the importance of good nutrition and educates people on the right kinds of food they need for themselves and their young children.

It costs 7 a week to provide this life saving treatment and as you see only 2 weeks can transform a child’s life.