New Role, New Home: Welcome to Ketsia

Our guest blogger this week is MFK Nurse Educator Ketsia Ratzlaff

I am the newest member of the Meds & Food for Kids’ nutrition team. I am a registered nurse from Canada and just arrived in Cap-Haitien, Haiti in early November. I’ve been busy since I arrived, learning much about my new role and my home. I’ve watched and learned about the malnutrition program MFK runs in partnership with various clinics in and around the Cap-Haitien area. I’ve observed the Haitian nurses at these clinics patiently and passionately educate these families about clean water, antibiotic administration, and how to best care for their acutely malnourished children. I’ve also learned that Medika Mamba/Plumpy’Nut, MFK’s signature calorie-dense Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), tastes just like Reese’s Pieces.

Ketsia, far right with Robenson, middle and his mother far left.
Baby Robeson reaching for his Medika Mamba with his mother and sister.

I’ve witnessed firsthand the astonishing resilience of the Haitian people in the face of political gridlock. Take for example Robeson – a little boy whose mother continues to go to whatever means necessary to get her children the medical care and attention they need. You can see from the photo that even though Robenson has yet to try Medika Mamba, he’s reaching for it!

His mother, like so many others, has experienced increased difficulty in caring for her three children during these challenging times. She is very thankful that this clinic is working with MFK in providing not only lifesaving Medika Mamba, but also antibiotics, de-wormers and water purifiers.

Equally important is the time and energy these local nurses invest into the children and their caregivers. There is a true sense of comradery and hope inspired by coming alongside people during challenging times and letting them know they’re not alone.

I am excited to join the MFK nutrition team and for the learning opportunities ahead as I walk alongside children like Robenson on their path to healing.