Razina, 28, with daughter Sumaiya, 19 months
19-month-old Sumaiya is her parents only child. Born a small baby, despite her mother Razina breastfeeding her, she failed to grow and is currently severely malnourished, weighing around 7kg – the size of a normal 8-month-old child. Subsequently, she is unable to walk properly or talk.
Sumaiya is not alone. In this part of Bangladesh some 49% of children suffer from stunting and Save the Children’s Suchana programme aims to address this through a multi programme approach focussed on child nutrition, food security and livelihoods.
Around nine months ago Razina heard about the Suchana programme and started attending awareness sessions to learn about health and nutrition. When the community mobiliser, Mukti, visited her home three months ago, she measured and weighed Sumaiya and found her severely underweight and immediately referred Sumaiya to hospital for treatment.
Two months of monsoon and floods meant the family could not travel but in August they finally made it to the hospital in Moulvibazar. At the hospital, Sumaiya was weighed and measured again and prescribed a programme of emergency therapeutic feeding with high nutrient food, supplementary milk, and vitamins to help bolster her weight and growth. After seven days of treatment she will return to hospital and may require hospitalisation if no improvement in her condition is seen.
Mukti, will continue to support the family with regular visits to check Sumaiya’s weight, and with valuable nutrition and health advice.