Every day malnutrition kills thousands of children around the world.
This entirely preventable condition causes unimaginable heartbreak for parents and loved ones, who in many cases watch as the child’s health deteriorates, unable to do anything to prevent their death.
A race against time for Fatchima
It’s the lean season in Niger – the time before the harvest when food is short and prices are high. People like Maria simply can’t afford to feed their children. Worse still, the promised harvest may never arrive.
Across the region, the rains don’t come when they used to. Droughts are now more frequent and long-lasting – putting the lives of children like fourteen-month-old Fatchima at risk.
Maria was desperately worried when Fatchima fell ill with a fever and diarrhea. She carried her to the nearest health centre, but Fatchima was found to be so ill that she was taken on the back of a motorbike to the hospital where Save the Children treats severely malnourished children. It was a race against time to save her life.
Normally, Maria starts the day by pounding millet in a wooden bowl. She prepares a kind of porridge made of millet. She gets it ready now although it will be eaten in the evening because she works all day tending a farmer’s crops. Fatchima is usually on her back as she works.
Maria does hard physical work in the fields then comes home and eats with her family. In good times, they eat spaghetti. When food and money is short, they only have millet. It’s filling, but on its own it doesn’t contain all the vitamins and minerals a growing child like Fatchima needs during the first 1000 days of life.
Fatchima is now thriving
Thanks to your ongoing support, malnourished children like Fatchima will get the vital food and nutrients they so desperately need to survive.