By Bashir A. Bashir
Abubakar is one of the many beneficiaries of the Stabilization Center established by the Society for Family Health (SFH) under the Health Resilience of Northeast Nigeria (HeRoN) in Kwaya General Hospital, Kwaya Kusar LGA. Abubakar is the third child of Mohammed Bello, a 30 year old bricklayer and Hannatu Isah, a low-literate mother with no western education. They live in Gashina of Kwaya ward in Kwaya Kusar LGA.
While Abubakar looks chubby and radiant with curly hair, he may have been lost due to malnutrition if not for SFH intervention.
According to Abubakar’s paternal grandmother, his ordeal began after 7 days of delivery. His mother became seriously ill, her legs were swollen, and she was unconscious most of the time. The community believes that it is supernatural, so they began traditional treatment. She was lucky to survive. She couldn’t breastfeed Abubakar due to the illness, but his grandmother voiced out another belief “every child is born with his own milk. For some, the quantity and quality are high, but for Abubakar, both are low.” To prevent Abubakar from starving, he was introduced to guinea corn pap. His condition continues to deteriorate. As a means of medication, his caregivers placed him on herbs, but to no avail.
Hannatu Isah, a caregiver discharged from the stabilisation centre (SC), heard about what was happening and referred Abubakar to the SC.
On 1st February 2022, at 6 months, Abubakar was admitted to the SC because he was severely malnourished and ill. He had a serious fungal infection in his mouth which changed the colour of most parts of his tongue to white and prevented him from suckling. Abubakar had a fever due to malaria, difficulty breathing from pneumonia, diarrhoea and vomiting, and an infection in his eyes (discharge and corneal ulceration in both eyes). He was emaciated because of dehydration and couldn’t sit at 6 months old. He weighed 3.5kg and had a Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) reading of 9.5cm.
During the 6 days admission, Abubakar was treated. He recovered and was discharge on 17th February, 2022. On the day of discharge, his MUAC reads 10.3cm and weights 4.1kg. He gained 17.1% of body weight on admission.
After 6 days of admission, Abubakar recovered and was discharged on 17th February 2022. As of the day of discharge, his MUAC read 10.3cm and a weight of 4.1kg. He gained 17.1% of his body weight on admission.
Abubakar fully recovered and was referred to PHC Kwaya to be put on Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUFT). The CHIPS agents and nurses from the SC counseled his parents on Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF). The CHIPS agents and nurses also conducted routine visits to ensure Abubakar’s health was sustained. He can now sit, and his parents were happy.
On seeing the CHIPS agents and facility staff during a home visit to Abubakar, his mother couldn’t help but cry “Na dauka zan rasa Abubakar, amma yanzu ya warke yayi kyau, na gode HeRoN” meaning “At first, I thought I would lose Abubakar but now he recovered and is looking good, thank you HeRoN.”
His MUAC reading was taken again to monitor his growth and development and it was 13 cm. This showed an increase of 3.5cm, which is a 37% increase. His mental state also improved. He now plays with other children in his compound.