AMAZING RESULTS: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Madelina’s mother died of dysentery (deadly diarrhea) when she was 10 months old. We suspect the mother had AIDS as Madelina showed all the classic signs of an AIDS baby — most of all, a failure to thrive. She only weighed 10 lbs. at 10 months old, and was unable to gain weight, even with six high protein meals a day. She also experienced other common symptoms: constant respiratory infections, diarrhea and malaria. It is a well-known fact that most AIDS babies only live to be around 2.5 years old, but we hoped and prayed that Madelina would somehow beat the impossible odds against her.
She was still too weak to even sit alone at 2 years, more than a year after we started giving her food and medical help. Failing to gain any weight, she still weighed only 10 lbs. We kept praying. In November of 2003, we started her on a new food supplement called Hypo-Plus that builds the immune system and reduces the viral count of HIV positive patients. Her sicknesses stopped and she became strong enough to sit and play on her own, but still could not stand without help. But, in September of 2004, Hypo-Plus gave us packets of their new “mealie pop porridge” (corn meal cereal) which contained Hypo Plus as well as vitamins and minerals for malnourished children. In 4 months she gained 11 lbs, doubling her weight just in time for her 3rd birthday! Again, she is well past the normal lifespan for an AIDS baby, and is now walking independently, too! What a miracle!
In Moz. the extended family is expected to care for their own orphans, but in many cases the grandmother is the only one who remains. We have many such scenarios and the grandmothers are grateful for our help. They have the assurance that when they die, their grandchildren will live on in our care and have a great chance at a future.
This woman, pictured on the left, is the typical example of a grandmother who came to us with a tiny, malnourished baby badly in need of help. We teach the women how and when to feed the child, including how to the boil water, sterilize the bottle, mix the formula and hold the bottle, since most have never seen one. We also provide the formula, which is very expensive and hard to find in large quantities. (We must make the 14 hour round trip drive to obtain it wholesale.) They are very grateful for our help in saving their grandbabies.
Too Far to Walk
Americo, a 13 year old boy, reported that his grandma could no longer walk the 30 mile round trip twice a month to get the food for him and his three siblings. We moved them from their remote village to one of our orphan homes where the children can attend a better school. Grandma now feels more secure in receiving our help each week and knowing the kids are in our direct care.
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