On my trip to Katwa hospital I met a girl called Janet Nguka. Janet’s mother was dead and she only had her father and sister to look after her. Unfortunately when save the children community workers met Janet’s father Janet was already severely malnourished. Her father did not know what to do as he could not afford the costs to take Janet to hospital. Save the children workers persuaded him to let them take her to Katwa hospital where she would be admitted to the children’s ward for severe malnourishment. When she arrived Janet could not even straighten her legs and was extremely underweight.
After 2 weeks in the nutrition programme Janet was well again and allowed to go home to her family. Unfortunately when Janet returned home her family did not have the means to care for her properly. Janet was readmitted to Katwa hospital for severe malnourishment and this time with medical complications. Janet had now also contracted meningitis.
Janet will receive treatment for her malnourishment at her stay at Katwa and her family will receive support and advice on food and nutritional values. It was really emotional to meet Janet and hear her story but programmes like this are the places that save these children’s lives. It emphasised to me the importance of sharing what we do so we can open more centres like Katwa.
Bienfait explained to me that we currently work in 2 health zones, Musienene and Katwa with 7 weekly health clinics in each zone who distribute drugs and refer severe cases of malnutrion to the CTCs. He explained that we hope to work in 8 zones where needs have been identified. However, this is dependent on future funding for the programme.
Not all cases end this way. Also at Katwa I met Kavugho and her daughter Aline. Kavugho at first had refused to come to the CTC with save the children but after 2hours of persuasion she brought Aline to Katwa. She told me she is “very happy now, and happy to go home”.