UNICEF AND EU COMBAT MALNUTRITION IN UGANDA'S DROUGHT-STRICKEN KARAMOJA REGION
Asset Duration: 02 min 45 secs
Shoot City: Karamoja
Shoot Country: Uganda
Shoot Date: 20 Jun 2011
In Uganda's remote region of Karamoja, 2 out of 5 children under the age of 5 are malnourished.
Lochoto and Francis suffer from acute malnutrition. One year old Lochoto has developed skin rashes and edema which makes his body swell due to water retention.
2 years old Francis' body lacks calories and proteins and most of all - energy.
Both boys are in critical condition and need to undergo treatment immediately.
It is thanks to a programme called IMAM – Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition – funded by the European Union's Humanitarian Aid department that children like Francis and Lochoto are getting much needed treatment.
SOUNDBITE (English), Fausto Prieto Perez,ECHO
"The European Union's Humanitarian Aid department is providing the financial support to UNICEF and its implementing partners to ensure that the program…the IMAM program… is undertaken to the best of its capacity."
Then Francis and Lochoto were first admitted to the program at Moroto Hospital, their odds of survival were low. But after 7 days of intensive medical and nutritional care, both boys recovered from the worst and were able to return home.
Weekly visits to the nearby health centre over the following months were the next step of the IMAM program. This is where we found both boys in a much healthier way, just 2 weeks later. Lochoto's skin rash had almost gone and the swelling reduced. Francis, now at 7 kg, was slowly regaining weight and energy.
SOUNDBITE (English), Paska Ongiertho, OTC Nurse, Moroto Health centre:
"The condition looks much improved and the child is now gaining appetite. What we are going to do is to give the plumpy nut and tell the mother to give at home"
As part of the programme mothers are sensitized by Village Health Teams at the health centre and in their communities on best practices in nutrition and hygiene.
Another 2 weeks have passed and we find the boys almost fully recovered in their homes.
Francis' appetite is huge and his little body has gained more weight and energy. Lochoto's skin colour is much darker, and his smile is even bigger - both signs of steady recovery.
While their treatment still continues their lives have been saved.