Our nutrition team sees a lot of severely malnourished children and works hard with health workers at malnutrition clinics to facilitate their recovery. Some cases are especially memorable, such as Lubendo.

fullsizeoutput_fbdLubendo entered the Medika Mamba program at Fort Bourgeois around age 15 months (his actual birthday is unknown), weighing just 6.5 kg (14.33 lbs) and measuring 73 cm (28.74 inches). As a comparison, an average American baby weighs 9.57-11.11 kg (21.1 – 24.5 lbs) and measures 77.47-80.77 cm (30.5 – 31.8 inches). “I thought he was going to die,” says MFK nutrition fellow Sarah Curley.

Lubendo’s mother had become sick so his cousin took him to go live with some family members on the mountain. It’s possible that no one was feeding him since his mother had quit breastfeeding. His 14-year-old cousin was watching over him at his grandma’s, and she brought him to the Mamba program. MFK’s nutrition staff immediately took him to the hospital after the first visit to test him for HIV, syphilis, and tuberculosis. All tests were negative. He was given a dose of amoxicillin and then the Medika Mamba.
Lubendo needed the program for 10 weeks until he achieved a height/weight 1 standard deviation below the norm, and he will continue to grow as he is weaned off the Mamba.  He is staying in the treatment program a little longer than usual because his 8-year-old brother came to clinic 2 weeks ago and is also severely malnourished. His mother came to clinic last week, and she is in good health again. The boys are now being treated at Shada Clinic in Cap-Haitien. Lubendo now weighs 9.7 kg (21.38 lbs) and measures 75 cm (29.53 inches)!