Following Hurricane Matthew, which devastated the Department of Grand’Anse, UNICEF, with funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), supports the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), through local organizations, to help children suffering from malnutrition.
Through the Foundation for the Development and Supervision of Haitian Families (FONDEFH), several hundred children from the Department of Grand’Anse, from 0 to 59 months, have benefited various nutritional care. This care which varies regarding the diagnosed cases and the community context, can either take the form of community awareness activities for parents on infant and young child feeding practices, or consist of: the provision of micronutrients for the prevention of malnutrition, or therapeutic milk and plumpy nut for management and treatment.
On the other hand, with the Departmental Initiative against Child Trafficking (IDETTE), a follow-up is done to provide socio-economic assistance to the families of diagnosed children, through income-generating activities (IGAs), home visits, and psychosocial support.
Story of Wisedarlene
Lineda Jean lives in Bariadelle, a small locality, close to the town of Dame Marie (Grand’Anse). A mother of three, including little Wisedarlène, she still remembers this trip to the Dame Marie Community Hospital to take her daughter, spotted by the community-based health workers (CHWs).
She still remembers the date of the hospitalization of her little Wisedarlène born on December 23rd, 2016, then aged 5 months: “It was May 19, 2017, I went with her to the hospital because she was sick, she had fever and flu. The agents who referred me to the hospital had notified me that the child was going to be hospitalized, because it was only 4 kilos, incompatible with his age, “she says.
After 12 days of hospitalization, Wisedarlène, who was suffering from severe acute malnutrition, weighed 5.5 kilos upon leaving the hospital. Weight still insufficient, but that situation satisfied her mother at that time who does not want to miss any of the appointments scheduled by the medical staff. “I have to go to the hospital every eight days to follow Wisedarlène’s progress (take his weight and measure his MUAC) and get the 18 packets of plumpy nut”. Currently, “Wisedarlène (10 months) is 7.4 kilos,” she concludes, almost double what she weighed 5 months ago.
Lineda Jean continues to look after her daughter’s well-being by regularly going to her appointments, continuing her breastfeeding, and following the advice of doctors and nurses for her nutrition. She considers herself happy and testifies: “I am very satisfied to have had this opportunity that other parents do not have it”. With the support provided by IDETTE through its AGR program, Lineda, a single mother, now has a financial activity selling soft drinks. This allows him to partially meet the needs of his family.
UNICEF, with the support of its donors, including ECHO, continues to contribute to the respect of children’s rights and the improvement of the living conditions of families, including those living in rural areas, and victims of natural disasters.
This post is also available in: French