HealthBridge works with partners world-wide to improve health and health equity through research, policy and action.

Ajay continues his recovery in Banke, Nepal

October 30, 2018 Gender Equality, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn & Child Health

Ajay[1] is a little boy who was born in Banke District, Nepal. By 15 months of age, he was a smiling and happy toddler, just learning how to say a few words. As time passed, Ajay became weaker and was eventually unable to hold up his own head. Ajay was suffering from malnutrition and weighed only 5 kilograms.

Ditya, a Female Community Health Volunteer, heard about Ajay and visited the family. Upon first meeting Ajay, Ditya identified that the child was malnourished. She knew she needed to get Ajay some help.

Ditya explained to Ajay’s parents that he was suffering from severe malnutrition. This means that he was not getting enough energy and nutrients from food to meet his needs. At first, Ajay’s family did not know or understand the dangers of malnutrition. They lived in an isolated community, far from health-care facilities like clinics and hospitals. There were very few health-care professionals to raise awareness about malnutrition and identify and treat cases like Ajay’s. As a result, many families are unaware of the signs, symptoms, and dangers of malnutrition.

Ditya, along with the maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) team from International Nepal Fellowship (NF), one of HealthBridge’s partners, had many discussions with Ajay’s family about malnutrition. The team encouraged Ajay’s parents to take him to the closest and best-equipped health facility for treatment. Ajay received free health services and food due to the severity of his condition.

After a one month stay in the hospital, Ajay had gained 3 kilograms. During his stay, the healthcare staff taught his mother about nutrition and how to help Ajay continue his recovery and promote his development.

In the rural areas of Nepal, Ajay’s situation is common. In Nepal, about 40% of children under five years of age experience chronic malnutrition.

HealthBridge Foundation of Canada and International Nepal Fellowship are working together with local governments to implement a program to strengthen the health system in Nepal. The program is specifically focuses on the health and nutrition of mothers and their children. Together, they are working to prevent children, like Ajay, from ever becoming malnourished. Click here to learn more about this project and our work in Nepal.

 

[1] Names were changed to protect privacy

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