A Cry for Help: saving a malnourished baby in Volta Region

Faustina Nanewortor, a Nutrition Officer at Anfoega Catholic Hospital, North Dayi Health Directorate in the , has appealed to organisations, philanthropists, and individuals to support the care of a seven-month-old baby recovering from severe acute malnutrition.

Ms. Nanewortor said the mother of the baby is mentally unstable, while an aunt she was entrusted to is having difficulties catering for her in addition to her nine children, as she is financially handicapped.

She told the in an interview that the baby was identified by a community nurse at three months with the condition popularly known as Kwashiorkor, with complications such as dehydration, anaemia, hypothermia and others.

She added that even though the aunty was instructed to take the baby for medical treatment when the condition was getting worse, she did not due to her financial challenges and other domestic issues.

The nutrition officer added that she therefore managed to start treatment from home by providing her with the therapeutic food, medication, and other provisions needed for her survival, adding, however, that the expected results were not achieved as her food was rather being given to healthy children.

“It's a food insecurity challenge; when I manage to get her the food, they end up giving it to other healthy children, so I decided to take her to the hospital,” she said.

Ms. Nanewortor added that she, together with some officers from the department, took custody of the baby and sent her to the Anfoega Catholic Hospital, where she was admitted for care, adding that the aunty was compelled to accompany them to the hospital while she (the nutrition officer) personnel took care of the financial obligations.

She added that the baby's aunty had abandoned the baby at the hospital for the past two months.

The medical bills of the baby were paid as part of other unpaid patients' bills when Ms. Joycelyn Tetteh, Member of (MP) for North Dayi Constituency visited the hospital on May 12, 2024.

According to the nutritionist, the little support currently being received from a non-governmental organisation and an individual was not enough, hence the appeal to others to help care for the baby to survive.

She said the baby, who is currently on the verge of the total recovery, had been sent back to the aunty to reduce the cost of hospital bills and other expenses, expressing the fear that she might suffer a relapse if help does not get to her on time.

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