Kwashiorkor

 This is Fenold.  His mother died in December.  His father, who is working, took him his mother-in-law’s house, he went to visit him this week and he is in the beginning stages of Kwashiorkor. He has had one other child that has died. The child died the first day it was born.

 

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 This is Jn Edword. His mother and father have had 3 children.  They have lost one to Kwashiorkor.  The mother and father are split-up and the father is having a hard time finding food to feed everyone in the house. He was admitted yesterday.

 

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This is Chrisemene.  She is 13 months old and weighs 13 pounds.  She was sitting next to a kerosene lamp, the lamp fell over and the gas spilt on her and caught on fire.  She is staying due to her burns but she is also malnourished.  Chrismene’s parents have had 11 children.  They have lost 6 child to Kwashiorkor.

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This is Nagette.  She came to the clinic yesterday.  She has been coming to the clinic since she was 10 months old.  She has been malnourished since her first visit.   Her mother is the one that always comes with her.  She has made 15 visits to the clinic.  She has been given peanut butter, milk, or rice on 9 of those visits.  She is 3 years old.  She was here on July 2nd and she weighted 14 pounds at 3 years old.  Currently she weighs 20 pounds 9 ounces.  So in 20 days she has gained around 6 pounds of water weight.  This has greatly affected her body and its ability to function. She is dying. She cannot breath well, she cannot open her eyes because they are swollen shut.  The picture below is yesterday morning.  The mother came to the clinic and said she needed vitamins and milk for her daughter.  The nurse spent a long time talking to her and she was laughing and said there was nothing wrong with her child.  The nurse got so frustrated with her she called Lori.  Lori spent a long time with her as well.  She just kept saying there was nothing wrong with her but a cold.  When I came down I talked to her as well.  I also called two of my ladies from the RC.  They talked to her a long time and she told us to hurry up she had to get back home.  She said the father did not want us to keep the child, that is why she did not want to leave her.   I thought of calling the judge, but decided to just let her go.  I did put the word out that I would like to talk to the father of the child if anyone saw him.

The picture below is two ladies that have worked in the RC since 2002.  Talking to the mothers and trying to get the child to drink some milk.

So first thing this AM the father was here with the mother and Nagette.  He talked to me for awhile, and told me he has asked the mom to ask us to take the child into the RC.   They had totally opposite stories.  He was upset with her and said she lived in the “sticks”  so she did not have education to understand when someone was talking to her.  I disagreed.  But the father wanted us to take her.  He explained to us that the mother leaves everyday before daylight and gets home after dark.  She is always gone taking produce to the market.  He said he would rather have his daughter die here with a little hope than to die by herself at home.   I am 99% sure that she will die within the next few hours.  Only God can help her now.  She was admitted this morning.   Nagette’s parents have had 3 children die of Kwashiorkor. 

She is awake here but cannot open her eyes.

See how shiny her legs are…..They are so swollen the skin is pulled so tight.

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I want to point something out.  We have admitted 4 children this week.  All of them have had siblings that have died.

Fenold-1 as a newborn

Jn Edword-1 from Kwashiorkor

Chrisemene-6 from Kwashiorkor

Nagette-3 from Kwashiorkor

So these four children have all together lost a total of 11 siblings.  Four families losing 11 children.  10 of those kids to Kwashiorkor.

Read more about Kwashiorkor here, and here. Below is a small chart on how starvation affect the body.

 

HOW STARVATION AFFECT THE BODY

 

Area

Effects

Digestive system

Decreased production of stomach acid

Shrinking of the stomach

Frequent, often fatal, diarrhea

Cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels)

Reduced heart size, reduced amount of blood pumped, slow heart rate, and low blood pressure

Ultimately, heart failure

Respiratory system

Slow breathing and reduced lung capacity

Ultimately, respiratory failure

Reproductive system

Reduced size of ovaries and testes

Loss of sex drive (libido)

Cessation of menstrual periods

Nervous system

Apathy and irritability

In children, mental retardation (sometimes)

Mental dysfunction, particularly in older people

Muscles

Reduced muscle size and strength, imparing the ability to exercise or work

Blood

Anemia

Metabolism (body processes to convert food into energy or to synthesize needed substances)

Low body temperature (hypothermia)

Fluid accumulation in the arms, legs, and abdomen

Disappearance of fat

Skin and hair

Thin, dry, inelastic skin

Dry, sparse hair that falls out easily

Immune system

Impaired ability to fight infections and repair wounds

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6 Responses to Kwashiorkor

  1. Tressa says:

    Im at a loss of words………so many thoughts…nothing worth saying. Keep doing what your doing. You are truly making a difference. Even though you see so much devastaion.

  2. jen says:

    Praying for these children…

  3. Scarlett says:

    I am so saddened to hear about all of these children. Know I am thinking about how we can stop this, and completely behind you and Lori 100%. You are both doing the best that you can. Poor Nagette, I am so sad to hear about her fate. The tears coming out her eyes, and the fact that she and so many other die so often that it becomes “normal” for most Haitians. This should not ever happen. I remember my friend Jack telling me about meeting a man who had three children in Haiti, and that he would say to him “Well, 3 of my children died, but I still have 3 children left, and I love those kids so much!” Amazing that he could still maintain a “glass is half-full” mentality. I will keep praying.

  4. shakera says:

    I am so sad to see what these kids and parents are going through,ALL I can do is to go an fasting for two days an ask the whole church for prayer continue to do a good job for those who is helping OK thank you.

  5. Jasmine says:

    God Bless.
    Kwashiorkor is so sad.

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