Week 3: Leaving the Centre

Fatuma and Ready-to-use therapeutic food
Fatuma and her children before discharge. Photo by: Fardosa Hussein, Action Against Hunger Mogadishu, Somalia.

Action Against Hunger’s treatment approach for malnutrition is so effective that, after initial stabilisation as in-patients, children can often continue their care from home.

With expert care, after three weeks, Halima is showing signs of recovery. After further weight and height checks and vital measurement of the circumference of her mid-upper arm, she is able to leave the in-patient centre and transfer to outpatient care.

“With continuous assistance from nutrition helpers at the centre I have been able to look after Halima to ensure she recovers as fast as possible”, says Fatuma.

Halima’s care is now supported at an outpatient therapeutic feeding programme at the Maternal and Health Centre in Mogadishu. Fatuma is given a prescription for Halima’s skin ointment and the first week’s supply of Halima’s Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food.

Now that the family is going back home, Fatuma will be supported with visits from community health workers. They check that all is well and offer further advice on good hygiene and nutrition.

Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF)

Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food is a type of food used to treat severe acute malnutrition in children. RUTF is generally made from a peanut-based paste with added vitamins and minerals, and is an excellent source of protein and energy.

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.