TIMELY INTAKE OF THERAPEUTIC FOOD ENABLES FAHIM TO STAND ON HIS FEET.

TIMELY INTAKE OF THERAPEUTIC FOOD ENABLES FAHIM TO STAND ON HIS FEET

A healthy Fahim playing at the OTC.
Fahim with his mother receiving the WASH basket.

In one of the numerous pocket sized houses in Umarkhadi, Govandi, lives baby Fahim (name changed).

When Fahim turned one, his mother Ruksana observed developmental delays in him. “He never used to play with anything and I could notice a difference that he could not crawl easily and his legs seemed too weak. Later when he was 15 months old, we tried to make him stand on his feet but he could not stand. His legs were different and they seemed bent or curved.” Fahim had a poor appetite and often wouldn’t breastfeed sufficiently. She even tried to feed him cow’s milk after he turned 6 months but to no avail.

Fahim was suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition. At the time of admission in our Outpatient Therapeutic Center, Fahim’s weight was 7.7 kg, way below the standard weight for his height (less than -3 SD) while his MUAC reading was 123mm.

Having almost given up on her son’s improvement, Ruksana was once again not optimistic about the Energy Dense Nutritional Supplement (EDNS) recommended by our staff but she agreed to try it in the hope that Fahim might recover.

“Initially there was lot of reluctance from my family members. I took my elder sister along with me and she also liked the way we were being treated at the center. Then we decided that we will continue the treatment despite reluctance from the family” says Ruksana. In a couple of weeks, signs of improvement were evident.

He was gaining weight every week and gradually started standing on his feet. Ruksana was counselled on breastfeeding, sanitation, causes of malnutrition etc. Seeing the improvement, the attitude of his family members too started changing.

Fahim’s MUAC was 138mm at the end of eight weeks and his weight was 9.2 kg. Fahim fell sick twice during the treatment but retained his weight due to proper care and medical guidance. Fahim made full recovery.

Ruksana is a happy mother and can’t get enough of running behind Fahim in her free time!

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