Thirteen-month-old Joharra Samuel is the youngest of his family’s six children. He is also one of 44 children younger than five who are registered with Action Against Hunger in Maguindanao, a remote province in the Philippines, because they have acute malnutrition.
Due to the inaccessibility of her community and the constant clashes between armed groups in the region, Noraima, Joharra’s mother, gave birth to all six of her children at home in the town of Datu Salio. But that’s not a rarity; families in her community seldom have access to health facilities.
“Ideally, it [health care] should be regular, weekly,” said Gretchen Amodian, a nurse working with Action Against Hunger. However, thanks to your support, Action Against Hunger is one of just a few organizations working to provide assistance in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), to which the province of Maguindanao belongs.
Jean Usman, a 37-year-old from nearby Tukanalipao, had never given birth in a health centre due to the lack of trust she had in the medical care system and the absence of security in her village. She had little access to nutritious baby formula. As a result, three of her children became malnourished. “I gave birth at home many times already so I thought it was just okay,” Usman said.
With your support, we have ensured that Usman can provide for her youngest child with ready-to-use therapeutic food used for treating undernutrition. Her baby’s weight has increased to a healthy level and his upper arm width grew from 11.4 to 12.3cm. Usman has committed to return to the health centre for regular checkups.
Your commitment to this work means that Action Against Hunger’s long-term work in the Philippines has improved the health and nutrition of scores of Filipinos affected by conflict and natural disasters. You helped us build new infrastructure for clean water closer to communities, which means more girls, who previously had to miss school in order to walk long distances to collect water, have a chance to learn. You also ensured that communities across the country received hygiene education sessions to improve their health. In 2016 alone, ACF reached 83,060 people in Philippines through 15 different projects. Thank you for making this possible.