Our program works to reduce infant malnutrition and lower the mortality rate in children across Haiti by providing access to medical care for treatable illnesses. The program most often treats infants and children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, kwashiorkor, anemia, dehydration, and infectious diseases. It consists of two programs directed toward treatment and maintenance:
We have a 25-bed in-patient medical center which specializes in malnutrition treatment. With only two in-patient centers in Northeast Haiti, we receive the majority of severely malnourished children from government and non-government hospitals. This center is staffed with one pediatrician and around-the-clock medical staff. Our nurses specialize in acute malnutrition care and have extensive experience treating the most severe cases of malnutrition. We follow the World Health Organization standards for inpatient treatment of the malnourished child and we also adhere to the National Malnutrition Treatment Protocol in Haiti. Our use of specialized malnutrition products such as F-75, F-100, ReSoMal, and Plumpy Nut/Medika Mamba allow us to provide the most up-to-date malnutrition treatment. This is truly a life-saving program, and we are seeing children go from death to life every single day in our Center! We also understand the importance of investing in the parents and caregivers, which is why we work hard to build strong relationships with those who come to us for help. We are able to provide a safe place for caregivers to stay while their child is receiving treatment, along with a hot meal each day. These parents are shown the love of Christ in their darkest hour and are given an opportunity to turn their lives over to Him.
Consistently serving around 75 children at a time, our out-patient program works in collaboration with the Haitian Health Department by allowing children to be treated for malnutrition while remaining at home with their families. In 2017 we were able to treat 324 children through this program. Out-patient treatment allows children who do not have other medical complications to be treated for malnutrition while remaining at home with their families. The child comes for a weekly check-up to be weighed, examined and provided their malnutrition
Malnutrition prevention is something that has always been a part of our program, but we are now putting much more focus on it. We have all heard the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” There are THREE practical ways we are stepping up our game to ensure we are working on prevention:
- Moringa Program – Moringa is a superfood that grows easily in Haiti and helps prevent anemia and many other vitamin deficiencies. We have implemented our first program in the remote village of Baie d’Orange where we established an out-patient malnutrition center this year. We are able to plant and grow many Moringa trees, and have distributed seeds and trees to families in the program. We provide education on the benefits of this plant, how to properly grow it, and how to incorporate Moringa into their every day diet. (All Moringa is provided by Jen Wride at Bonne Terre Haiti.)
- Prenatal Vitamin Distribution – We recently received a grant from Vitamin Angels that will allow us to provide prenatal vitamins to 6,000 women in 2019. We have partnered with the local government hospital in Ouanaminthe where most women in our village give birth and have started distributing prenatal vitamins to all pregnant women who come through their program. The main goal is to prevent anemia and other vitamin deficiencies in pregnant women which will in turn have a great impact on preventing malnutrition.
- Education – Education is weaved into every aspect of what we do. We hold formal education classes every single day in our hospital, we educate caregivers on a one-on-one basis, and we partner with nurses in rural areas to provide health education deep in the mountains of Haiti.
The goal of our Malnutrition Program is to provide access to quality medical care, proper treatment, and education to Haitian communities to help prevent future cases of malnutrition. Our prayer is that by serving those currently suffering, we would successfully educate families and communities and ultimately lower the number of children suffering from malnutrition in Haiti.
We follow both the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and the National Malnutrition Treatment protocol for treating malnutrition in Haiti. Our programs include the use of antibiotics, nutrient dense formula, and Medika Mamba ®, a locally-made ready-to-use therapeutic food by Meds & Foods for Kids. This treatment method provides each child with proper vitamins and nutrients to help them heal and grow stronger.