Last week we got a phone call from a health centre in the village, if we could help a 2 years old girl, who was severely malnourished. The mother had a mental problem, so the father had brought her to the health centre. We agreed and the next day, a nurse brought the little girl and her father. We did an intake, but the father didn't know much, he didn't know the date of birth of his daughter and he did not many answers on our questions. One thing was very clear: this child needed help!!! When we saw her, we knew that she might be at least 3 years old, she had her teeth, but the upper front teeth were already rotten. She was very swollen and had oedema all over her body. Rashes on the legs, she was in a bad shape. Severe protein deficiency....
The little girl, Hellen, was taken to the doctor immediately, they ran several tests and they found out that she was HIV- , but she was anaemic, had malaria and a bacterial infection. She was put on Iv medication and needed to be given a blood transfusion.
On this picture, you can see her legs, it is very painful and she is also very irritable. She was started on a rich protein diet and we started with small amounts, every two hours. Because she is not used to rich food, we have to be careful, so she can tolerate it.
When she was brought, she could hardly see, one eye was completely closed, because of the oedema, the other eye could only open a little bit. Hellen is very unhappy, she doesn't want to eat and drink much, so to help her, we gave her a NG tube, so we can give her special milk through the tube, when she doesn't want to drink. She has pulled the tube out many times already, but we have to put it back again..
Today she can see with both eyes, the oedema is less, but her legs are still bad. Our social worker went to her village, to see the situation there. The family is poor and there are 8 eight children. Hellen is in the worse condition of all. We got her date of birth now! It is her birthday today, she turned 4 years old!! It is not a very happy birthday, but we pray God to help this little girl and to give her grace to endure this time, that she will have a future and that she will be happy soon!!!