Week 2: After initial care

Internally Displaced Persons
Halima at an Action Against Hunger-funded medical centre. Photo by: Fardosa Hussein, Action Against Hunger Mogadishu, Somalia.

In her first few days at the Action Against Hunger centre, Halima was monitored carefully. She was gently introduced to special therapeutic milk and her skin condition was treated with ointment. Every week of her treatment, she was given a health check where she was weighed and measured.

“It was difficult to watch the nurse apply ointment to my daughter’s skin. Halima cried a lot and I felt like crying with her,” says Fatuma.

Mothers stay with their children at the centre while they’re given intensive, urgent treatment. They can do their laundry and socialise, and in many cases, they feel more relaxed than they do in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. The centre is a safe space.

During her stay at the centre, Fatuma’s uncle made occasional trips to see how Halima’s condition was improving. Fatuma also received support by the staff working at the centre, including counseling from a nutrition helper who advised her on how to reconnect with Halima after their long separation, as well as on good feeding care.

“Being away from my daughter was the most painful experience I had to live with as a mother. I was completely isolated from her,” Fatuma says. “We are both learning how to bond again. I spend a lot of time with her to compensate for the time she was away.”

Around the world, 2.3 million children under the age of five die every year because their diets lack the nutrition to keep them healthy and safe from preventable diseases. But if malnutrition is treated fast, a child has a chance at a healthy future.

This winter, please help us reach children suffering from life-threatening malnutrition. It takes an average of just six weeks of treatment to save a child’s life.