Thoughts from the Trip

I am privileged and thankful for the opportunity to participate in my fifth FOTCOH mission trip in Cyvadier, Haiti.  I have been overwhelmed by the number of malnourished patients our volunteer group has encountered this mission –

a 3 month old infant weighing 2.4 kg (5.29 lbs) whose mother died shortly after giving birth
a 10 month old male weighing 5.4 kg (11.9 lbs) who sits forward in a tripod position and babbles a little but does not crawl
a 1 year old female weighing 4.95 kg (10.9 lbs) who sits with support but does not crawl and stopped babbling
a 15 month old male weighing 6.91 kg (15.2 lbs) who crawls and pulls himself up to standing, but does not walk and only says “mama” and “dada”.

These were just some of the patients seen within the first week of our trip.  It breaks my heart to see a hungry child.  For those women who are able, we encourage breastfeeding.  For infants like the 3 month old described previously, we provided the familywith formula donated to FOTCOH and educated them how to properly mix the formula.  The other 3 infants/toddlers described above were enrolled in the Medika Mamba program which provides nourishment to its participants and helps the Haitian economy.  “Plumpynut” is a peanut-based paste enriched with vitamins and minerals to treat severe malnutrition.  It is made in Haiti from peanuts which are also grown in Haiti.

As difficult as it was to see these malnourished and developmentally delayed infants/toddlers, it was rewarding to encounter the Medika Mamba success stories – a 2 yo female whose weight increased from 6.22 kg (13.7 lbs) to 9 kg (19.8 lbs) and a 7 month oldmale whose weight increased from 5.5 kg (12.1 lbs) to 7.96 kg (17.5 lbs) in 8 weeks.  Their development is also improving.

Thank you to all those who support FOTCOH by providing donations (formula, bottles, financial support, etc) which allows us to provide nourishment to these starving Haitian infants/children!