Partner Spotlight: UNICEF
This is a story from our Hunger Challenge partner UNICEF from their work in the Somali region of Ethiopia.
__Outreach to Underserved Communities in Ethiopia impacted by hunger __
FILTU HOSPITAL, SOMALI REGION, ETHIOPIA– Ahmed Yusuf was just skin and bones when he was admitted to Filtu Hospital, in Liiban zone in the Somali region. He suffered from a host of maladies, according to Dr Dereje who oversees the care of children at the hospital, including severe acute malnutrition (SAM). “Ahmed was diagnosed with SAM, pneumonia, anemia and severe dehydration due to diarrhea,” said Dr Dereje. Ahmed had been identified through a Concern World Wide (CWW) effort to screen children from kebeles (sub-districts) and refer those suffering from malnutrition for prompt treatment. Ahmed had to be transported from Wilow kebele, some 80 kilometres southwest of the hospital along rough and dusty roads.
Ahmed could have easily died from preventable causes but the trip to the hospital saved his life. The availability of trained staff, adequate therapeutic supplies, milk, drugs and an appropriate infrastructure for housing children with SAM and related complications, is key to his and other such children’s survival.
UNICEF continues to support the provision of life-saving ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), therapeutic milk and routine drugs to treat children admitted with malnutrition. Additionally, UNICEF supports the coordination of the response through scheduled zonal meetings, technical support through training and on the job mentorship.
As part of the efforts to ensure that all children are reached, partners like CWW are encouraged to ensure that all kebeles, including those that are hard to reach, are accessed monthly so that children are screened and provided treatment as appropriate.
To further complement the early identification and referral of children, UNICEF is supporting screening, active case finding and early referral of sick children in most kebeles.
“I am very happy that my child received treatment that saved his life. Back home, I will support my family to ensure that my children are appropriately fed and do not get exposed to drinking unsafe water which could result in diarrheal diseases and complications requiring hospitalization for long periods,” said Ahmed’s father, Yusuf Mohammed Abdule.
Students’ efforts through the Hunger Challenge will support UNICEF’s work to impact reach 15,767 children under the age of five with nutrition and micronutrient interventions Ethiopia where there are significant hunger-related challenges including severe acute malnutrition.