A child (or two) is born!
As we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus this Christmas season we have also had some tiny new arrivals at Neesim Nutrition Centre. This is always a busy season for us, as once the farming season is over people are more free to seek help for their children. We have 19 children in the centre this Christmas including little Alhassan and Fuseina (assumed names).
Alhassan and Fuseina were born at the end of September but breastfeeding was not easy for their mother. Alhassan would drink but was constantly crying because he was not getting enough milk. Fuseina refused to drink at all. Their mother managed to express some milk into a feeding bottle and the family bought some milk formula, but the babies were not satisfied. They were crying all the time and losing weight. A family member and the local clinic advised them to come to Neesim Nutrition Centre.
When they arrived this week, Alhassan and Fuseina weighed just 2.4 and 2.5kg at nearly three months old. We have an increasing number of cases like this, with 14 out of the 62 admissions so far this year being breastfeeding cases. Our nutritionist, Gladys, explains why: “Some of the babies’ mothers have died or are sick, but others simply don’t have enough breastmilk, particularly when they give birth to twins. Because the mothers are often not eating a healthy balanced diet they cannot produce enough milk. Milk formula is available to buy, but it is expensive. Many people dilute it too much because of the cost, so the babies don’t get the nourishment they need.”
Alhassan and Fuseina’s mother is now receiving education on how to eat a balanced diet from locally available foods, and is also taking moringa and prekese, two local foodstuffs which support the production of breastmilk. We hope that in time the babies won’t need milk formula at all. She says, “I am so happy now that I have come here. My babies are now satisfied. They are no longer crying all the time and I don’t have to worry about them any more. I already feel like I have more milk!”
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year from all staff, pupils, mothers and children at Project Share! Thank you for all your support over 2017 which has made our work possible.
If you would like to give a gift to Project Share this Christmas, enabling us to continue this life-changing work in 2018, click here to find out how to give. Any amount, no matter how small, is much appreciated.