Monday, September 2, 2013


Malnutrition is a killer here.  It preys mostly on the little kids, especially the babies who are adopted, who don't have a mom breastfeeding them.  Without breast milk the kid's source of nutrition is dependent on the parent's financial state.  If they have money, they are able to buy formula, if not they are given the water that kaukau are cooked in or Milo (like Hersheys powdered milk), neither of which have any nutritional value.  When they do get formula, they then are exposed to a number of pathogens in the water the formula is made in, which leads to multiple episodes of diarrhea, which further weakens their body and can kill them.
Thankfully, some patients are able to break the cycle of malnutrition, infection and death.  This little kiddo came in weighing only 5kg (about 10lbs) at 18 months old.  She had diarrhea and pneumonia and was skin and bones.  I wasn't sure she was going to survive her infections, but she did.  She now has gained 1 kg in the hospital and looks like a totally different person, she looks like she is going to make it.  When I get close to her bed, she puts her tiny little hand out for me to shake, so cute.  Pray that she would continue to gain weight and get better.