13-month-old Sharmin was a healthy baby when she was born but after successive bouts of diarrhoea she became severely malnourished and failed to grow. When her mother Jasmine was enrolled in Save the Children’s Suchana programme, when Sharmin was about 6-months old, community mobiliser Muktha measured and weighed Sharmin and found she was dangerously underweight.
She referred Sharmin to a doctor for immediate treatment. Measured and found to have severe acute malnutrition she was admitted to hospital for immediate emergency care. When they were discharged from the hospital, Muktha gave Jasmine advice about the best foods to feed Sharmin to help her gain weight and make sure her brain develops.
Today Sharmin is doing better and is beginning to grow but, like some 49% of children in this region of Bangladesh, she has stunted growth and is unable to walk. She currently weighs around 5kg, the equivalent size of a 2-month-old child.
Sharmin and her family live in an abandoned compound. Another four families, around 30 people total, live in the compound. They lack basic amenities such as running water and toilets but thanks to Suchana, Jasmine has been able to purchase goats and hens, providing the family with eggs for protein and a small additional income from selling the animals.