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In SALEM-Uganda young parents are taught how to feed their children in a healthy way. When Daniel was brought to SALEM by his mother, he was six years old and malnourished. Some time back his mother married a new husband who did not accept Daniel in his family. So he was brought to his uncle where nobody cared for him and he did not get enough food. When his mother once came to check on him, she found him in poor health and took him to SALEM’s Kolonyi Hospital straight away where he was treated.
If a child is sick because of malnutrition you have to slowly get his body used to food again. So in his first two weeks in SALEM-Uganda he only got soy milk which is full of nutrients but also easy to digest. Only when the swellings and wounds which are typical for malnutrition had gone, he also got porridge made of millet, rice and soy flour. Only when he got used to that, he was ready to eat solid food. For that he got a mixture of posho, groundnuts and simsim.
While children are treated in Kolonyi Hospital, their parents are educated.
“How many times should a child eat?”
In many families there are only two meals prepared in a day, sometimes even one.
“How should you feed a child?”
Even families who have enough money for food sometimes have cases of malnourished children because of lack of important nutrients.
In the demonstration garden parents can learn how to grow their own food. Afterwards they cook the self planted food together with staff from the hospital to learn how to prepare it in a healthy way. After only a short time they can wdo things on their own and then when Fladia, their nurse and teacher, comes in the morning, the soy milk is already cooking on the stove. Usually after three weeks the parents go home together with their children, their new competences and some seeds to start their own food growing. Now they are well prepared to look after their children and the whole family.
There are only a few cases – like Daniel – where we need to find other solutions. He could neither go back to his uncle where he was mistreated nor could he go back to his step father who did not accept him. So it was organized for him to stay in SALEM. Being part of the loving community of the Children’s Home, he now is happy and of good health.
Without the support of many different partners and individual supporters it would not be possible to help all the families and children who come to SALEM, because they don’t have to pay for the treatment including all the food. Most of the families who suffer from malnutrition are very poor.
We warmly thank everyone who supports SALEM-Uganda and therefore all the families and children in the nearby communities who need our help and we hope to keep your great support for the future.
This report was written by Mirjam Fritz, volunteer in SALEM-Uganda
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