Project Need: $285,694
Desperation prompted Nyajima’s mother to bring her emaciated two year old daughter to our Nutrition Village. Nyajima’s playful childhood ended during a month of untreated illness; she stopped walking after the second. More weeks passed, she refused to eat; hope faded. Nyajima was barely ten pounds of skin and bone.
For days we thought she would die. Her mother was emotionally spent, without hope. She held and bathed the child but showed little interest in giving the special round-the-clock milk formula. Nyajima’s bony face was expressionless, her mouth tightly shut. Fed by syringe, she swallowed the milk a sip at a time. Slowly, the tide turned, her weight stopped falling, her eyes became watchful. In the second week, her affect brightened. “I painted her fingernails and she surprised me by trying to hold the bottle of polish and grasping a balloon. This was the first emotion we’d seen. Her mother began to laugh that day, interacting with Nyajima, smiling, teasing. A ray of hope appeared that her child might live.”
With milk feedings and Plumpy Nut, a peanut-based food mixed with milk powder, oil, sugar and vitamins, Nyajima finally surpassed her admission weight. On a joyful morning she stretched out her hand and cried for more. Soon, she began to eat village food. Holding her mother’s hand she took her first, halting steps.
Community health services and training for the Mabaan people