Treating Malnourished Children

Photo credit: Bartay

The Challenge

Each year, an estimated six million children die before their fifth birthday. Poor nutrition is the underlying cause of nearly half of these deaths. Parents seeking care at hospitals in impoverished, under-served regions are often met with overcrowded facilities where infections spread rapidly and long wait times keep mothers and children away from their families.

 

Our Solution

Helen Keller International is increasing awareness and capacity in impoverished communities so that local health workers have faster, more efficient ways of treating malnourished children. 

We focus on ensuring that knowledge and skill in managing acute malnutrition is reinforced and retained in local health systems so that communities can help themselves in times of crisis.

We train local health workers in managing acutely malnourished children with an aim to minimize the time most mothers and children need to stay at health centers and away from home. We also provide support for community volunteers, women’s groups, and community leaders to counsel mothers on good nutrition and feeding practices to prevent a recurrence of malnutrition. Our holistic approach provides medications, instruction and therapeutic foods that mothers can give at home, significantly reducing the risk of infection and the financial burden on poor families.