Neila’s life hasn’t been easy. She’s just 10 months old, and has already survived two bouts of Kwashiorkor. Kwashiorkor is a form of malnutrition that occurs when there isn’t enough protein in the diet, most often seen in regions experiencing famine. This third bout has been extremely tough (not that any bouts are easy). Neila’s body became so swollen with edema, caused by the extreme lack of protein causing an osmotic imbalance, thus causing her precious body to retain and swell, with skin blistering and splitting. Neila was also having challenges breathing, and she and her Mother made the challenging trek to the Rescue Center at Real Hope for Haiti. This meant a boat ride to the mainland, for they call Lagonav Island home, to a car ride, and finally, by motorcycle. She weighed 14.3 lbs at arrival.
Admitted into the Rescue Center’s inpatient program, she now receives a specialized nutritional peanut butter paste, Medika Mamba, along with other specialized care. Healing from kwashiorkor is a slow process, and can take many months.
When Neila is healthy and healed, she’ll head home to Lagonav Island. Throughout her stay, her diapering needs have been met by diapers donated through Jake’s Diapers. By receiving cloth diapers from Jake’s Diapers, Real Hope for Haiti is able to focus on meeting Neila’s other needs, instead of worrying about a diaper supply or going without. Jake’s Diapers and Real Hope for Haiti are working together to care for these precious children in need, and both organizations dream of a day when no one has to choose between food & diapers, and kwashiorkor is a thing of the past.
One path these organizations are taking is to catch malnutrition in its early stages, as well as helping families prevent it from even starting. This means basic education, as well as providing families the basic tools they need to not only survive, but thrive. Living in extreme poverty, on less than $1/day, these families struggle with basic needs.
One approach these organizations are working on is a pilot project through Real Hope’s Maternal Care Program. Mothers come in for prenatal healthcare, and receive a birthing kit to help increase positive birth outcomes. The next piece is to provide Moms and babies a layette kit at a well-baby checkup. In the layette kit is a set of cloth diapers, a complete supply to last from birth to potty training.
By having diapers, these babies experience not only an increase in sanitation and hygiene, but also in quality of life and chance of survival. To accomplish this goal, Jake’s Diapers has partnered with CaringCrowd, a new crowdfunding platform powered by Johnson & Johnson. Jake’s Diapers has an amazing opportunity to raise funds to completely diaper 500 babies, and all donations are matched dollar for dollar up to $250. But time is of the essence, as the July 31st CaringCrowd matching deadline is fast approaching. To help Moms and babies not only survive, but thrive go here!