When dealing with vulnerable individuals, having a singular approach is often not that successful. Whilst one program intervention may work for one child, others will need a different approach or many different approaches in order to work.
This was the case for Joseph. Joseph has been a patient at TTF for over 5 years - he came to the clinic when he was only 12 years old. Joseph has always been a skinny kid but during 2015 was diagnosed with having TB and lost quite a lot of weight to only 32kgs. So when the opportunity to include him in our nutritional support program came up he was one of the first individuals who was suggested. Starting the nutrition program in February Joseph weighed 39kgs and measured as significantly malnourished. We initially saw slow but steady gains in weight but then he would get sick and drop weight again. Progress wasn't as quick as we had planned.
We began to wonder what was happening and therefore went to his home to understand his living situation. When he had enrolled in the program Joseph's care giver had told us that there were 8 people in the home but when we got to the house it appeared there were 17 individuals living there. With only the Grandmother providing an income through selling vegetables on the road side it was clear that one of the reasons Joseph wasn't gaining any weight is because the food was being shared to thinly and not being of benefit to Joseph.
Families in Zambia share everything so requesting that food only go to Joseph would have been very difficult. Instead we want to ensure that we can support him in a controlled environment, through hospice or out of home nutritional support.
This is where we need your help. Joseph needs nutritional support outside of the home. We need to pay for a placement for Joseph and other children like him, where individuals are so malnourished they need food packages dedicated just to them, to bring their weight up pas the 1st percentile on the BMI index. We have found that individuals who start off malnourished than others gain weight much quicker. Therefore once their initial weight is boosted gaining more weight should be quicker and bringing them out of the danger area in terms of health risks.
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