This is Samuel, he is 13 months old and very malnourished, we picked him and his 3 months little brother Daniel today. But let me start at the beginning: Yesterday, we got a phone call from a nurse, who works in a village Mission hospital in a neighbouring District. There was there a young mother with two baby's , only 10 months apart, who were malnourished. The mother has a mental problem and the baby's are crying from hunger and mostly laying naked on the floor.
This morning, Simon and I went there, to see if and how we could help. Our car has a special permit, because it is still lockdown in Uganda and you can not travel from one District to another District. There are no cars on the road and there are Police checkpoints. But they know the Amecet cars and they just waved to us when we drove by.
When we came to the hospital ( around 1 hour drive), we talked with the nurse and the mother, the grandfather was also there and we saw the children.
The oldest boy has most of the problems, he is 13 months old and looks puffy and has very swollen feet, as you can see on the picture, they are very swollen and painful an it is just because of lack of protein. He was irritable, crying and not well. The day before they had given him blood transfusion, because he was severe anaemic. His younger brother was 3 months old, so the mother got pregnant only one month after the birth of Samuel . He is not yet malnourished, but because of the mental state of the mother it might happen soon. The mother is only 20 years old.... The grandfather looks after them in the hospital and he really loves his daughter. He will take her back to their home, the situation in the home of the husband was not so good..
We did all the paperwork, got the referral from the hospital, and the youngest baby got his name.. In Uganda, you don't give the baby the name before you baptise him/her. Especially among the catholic people is this very strong, we need a name, we need to fill papers, request for a care order at the courthouse, so we need a name, So they came up with the name Daniel Okello....
I took them to the car, to change them into our clothes and I had two bottles with milk, in case that.... While I was changing them, the nurse came to ask if we could take a very serious sick child in our car to Soroti Hospital. There is not much transport and we were going back to Soroti.... We took the 12 year old boy, together with his mother and older sister. He had sickle cell anaemia and was very weak. He had a serious bleeding nose, which didn't stop. He was in need of blood transfusion, he was really very sick...
While he was laying on one of the benches in the back of the car, his mother and sister were sitting next to him. He started to vomit, blood that he had swallowed, I really felt for them. In the meantime, I did acrobatic movements, to bottle-feed two crying children at the same time. Fortunately, they liked the milk and they both fell asleep. Simon dropped us off at Amecet and rushed with the boy to Soroti Hospital. I pray that the boy will make it and that he can receive the blood transfusion.
The staff took over the children and they were cleaned, dressed and taken to the doctor in the clinic next to us. Daniel (picture at the right) had not many problems, the doctor wrote: TLC in his medical book (Tender Love and Care), but his brother Samuel needed to go for lab tests. And later he was put on IV medication and extra protein rich feeding, multi vitamin and also TLC.....
More children have been brought to Amecet in the last week:
Baby Agnes, a very new born baby. The mother bled out after the delivery and she died. Agnes is one of our biggest baby's. She is doing well.
Baby Stella, her mother also died, the placenta didn't come out and she was operated, but lost so much blood that even the blood transfusion couldn't safe her.
This are 3 pictures of Messach, he also came this week in Amecet. But we were already quite involved in his situation. He is the son of one of our girls, who lived in Amecet in the past. She gave birth to twins, but one of them passed on. Messach is a fighter, he is 5 weeks old and his weight was this week (when he came in Amecet) 1,190 grams. The mother is not caring well for him., she can't do the extra that he really needs. So she asked help from Amecet. I have been visiting them several times a week in the hospital, he was admitted in the neonatal room, where all those very little one's lay. This week he was discharged and came into Amecet. The mother went back to the village and we will bring Messach there, when he is stronger and stable. He is doing well, we feed him every 2 hours, day and night. And he starts to gain. Today, 3,5 days later his weight is 1,470 kg!!!!! We are very encouraged... He will grow out of his suit (right picture) which is size 44. Please keep praying for those little one's and also for the staff, they are dedicated... Please also pray for those two young mothers, the mother of Messach and the mother of Samuel and Daniel, that they both get that support they need and that they get those mother feelings for their children..