The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Torit Hospital

Waiting for malnutrition screening at Torit Hospital where treatment and supplementary feeding are provided.

Hilary, 14 months old, is given a drink of water at Torit Hospital. It’s hard to think that the women and children queuing up for malnutrition screening at the hospital are the lucky ones.

All the signs of extreme hunger are there, visible in the wasted bodies of the under-fives, in their swollen bellies and joints, in the heads out of all proportion to the fragile limbs. Currently, 7 percent of children who are screened for malnutrition in the hospital will die.

“Last year, we lost 15 children in a month because we ran out of supplies. It’s frustrating but there is nothing you can do."

- Loki Martin Lockare, a nurse in the malnutrition unit.

The worst cases are put onto the wards. “The child improves but then they are back,” said the nurse.

“We give them nutritional information on what is available in terms of wild food. The problem is that there is nothing available. If we give the mother supplementary food, then they will share it among all the children and the same child is readmitted.”


 

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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust