Sebenele was diagnosed with malnutrition at the age of 4.
Sebenele Maziya is a 12 year old boy. He attends school at Good Shepherd Primary and is in grade five. Sebenele lives with his mother Maria Dlamini (46), four older siblings, grandmother and his aunt who has three children. He is the last born of 3 siblings. His father died when he was 3 years old. Sebenele’s mother Maria, works as a domestic worker and earns less than $30 per month. The family lives in a small stick and mud one room home in Makhewu, a few kilometres from Good Shepherd hospital and Siteki town.
Sebenele was diagnosed with malnutrition at the age of 4 and has been on outpatient treatment since. He has been in and out of hospital due to malnutrition and co-infection with HIV. He is also on antiretroviral therapy (ART) which he also started at the age of 4 years almost the same time when he started treatment for malnutrition.
“When I complete school I want to be a nurse so that I can afford to eat well.”
Sebenele and his family have an average of one meal a day which is mainly porridge and greens that they gather from the field. Sometimes, Sebenele’s mother brings left over food from the family that she works for and that is the treat for the family.
“When I complete school I want to be a nurse so that I can afford to eat well”, says Sebenele smiling as he imagines how life will be for him when he grows up.
UNICEF in Eswatini works with the Ministry of Health –Nutrition Council to provide therapeutic food and supplementary feeding (Corn Soya meal plus family ration consisting of cereal, beans and vegetable oil) for the treatment of acute malnutrition for a period of not more than six months and this is implemented in various health facilities including Good Shepherd Hospital where Sebenele gets assistance.