MANA in Burundi
Shurweryimana being held by his grandmother – November 18, 2012
This past fall, with the help of Food for Famine, we were able to donate 225 cases of MANA to World Vision Canada. These cases were distributed to 12 therapeutic feeding centers across Burundi. Over 26,000 packets have already been distributed in Rutegama, a rural community an hour from Burundi’s capital city, to children like Shurweryimana.
Shurweryimana is 12 months old. His mother passed away due to health complications and everyone feared that he too would suffer the same fate. His grandmother stepped in to take care of him, but lost hope as she did not know how to help him. He was severely malnourished but could not and would not eat. It was as if his body had shut down. Thankfully, a community volunteer encouraged the grandmother to visit the local nutrition center in Rutegama to see if perhaps he could be treated there. That visit saved his life.
Shurweryimana was assessed by the nutrition specialist and was immediately treated with RUTF and started on the RUTF regimen. The effects of the treatment were noticed instantly. His grandmother attests that he literally bounced back to life. His weight began to increase and he developed a regular appetite. In June when he began treatment, he weighed a mere 3 kilos. However, after the treatment, he now weighs a much healthier 7.5 kilos. He now also eats fruits, vegetables and drinks milk. He has even started to speak. These simple activities seemed near impossible for him to do a few months ago, and now they are just part of his daily routine.
When asked how the RUTF has changed his life, Shurweryimana’s grandmother expressed that now there are possibilities, where before there were not. She has bared witness to his remarkable recovery and is grateful for the arrival of RUTF.
Shurweryimana’s story is just one example of how the arrival of RUTF has dramatically changed this community. It has provided hope in an otherwise grim situation.
The children and families in Burundi, along with World Vision Canada and all of us at MANA Nutrition, extend our deepest appreciation to Food for Famine for your continued generosity and partnership in our efforts to restore dignity in the hearts of children all over the world. Together we are helping kids live life in all its fullness.
Photos & story courtesy of World Vision Canada.