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Nutrition Programme success stories from the field: Typhoon Yolanda-affected areas

Stories and photos courtesy of UNICEF partner International Medical Corps

©ACF/Shyria Almia
Oliver holds a pack of ready-to-use therapeutic food at his family's home in Libongao, Kananga, during a home visit by International Medical Corps staff to check his nutritional status and recovery progress.

Hope and second chances
by Ricci Marie Tumampo

Children with severe acute malnutrition who get sick need special care. After surviving Typhoon Yolanda, 33-month-old Oliver from Libongao, Kananga, was admitted to the In-Patient Facility at the Ormoc District Hospital because of pneumonia.

The facility was opened in February 2014 by International Medical Corps for the treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition who have medical conditions. International Medical Corps provides nutritional support and ensures that patients' medications and laboratory exams are taken care of, while hospital staff provide medical and nursing management. UNICEF provides nutrient-rich ready-to-use therapeutic food and resources for the management of patients with acute malnutrition.

Oliver showed delays in growth and development. For a child who is nearly three years old, he could not walk or stand without support. Since his admission into the programme, Oliver has shown significant weight gain and catch-up growth. Monitoring of his nutritional status continued after he was discharged from the hospital.

Oliver’s mother Erma is thankful for her son's recovery, which would not have been possible without the work of International Medical Corps, UNICEF, and the local community. Through this partnership, children like Oliver can become healthy again.

 

©ACF/Shyria Almia
Sixteen-year-old Mary Rose, a lactating woman from Barangay Cacao, Kananga, Leyte, receives her two-week ration of ready-to-use supplementary food.

Rainbow after the rain

In addition to children ages 6-59 months old, the International Medical Corps Nutrition Programme also aims to screen, treat and prevent acute malnutrition among pregnant and lactating women. During the scheduled treatment of malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women at Barangay Tugbong Health Station in Kananga, Leyte, International Medical Corps nutrition staff met 16-year-old Mary Rose.

Mary Rose and her family live in a temporary shelter after Typhoon Yolanda destroyed their home. Because her husband's livelihood in the rice fields was also affected, she participates in the government's cash-for-work program to add to their income. Her family's daily meal consists of rice mixed with water and salt or soy sauce. Sometimes, her husband would buy some vegetables and fish. Despite this, she continues to breastfeed her 17-month-old child.

With funding from the World Food Program, International Medical Corps provides children ages 6-59 months old and pregnant and lactating women identified to have moderate acute malnutrition with a supply of ready-to-use food supplement. "I am happy to have been given [ready-to-use food supplement] rations. This is a big help to me," Mary Rose said.

 

 
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