Malnutrition in Benin: the testimony of parents of children healed thanks to the Foundation

My name is Dramane Soumanou, 42 years old, I am a farmer and father of 6 children, including two twins Dramane Assana and Dramane Bako. I live in the village of OUENOU in the commune of N’Dali.

In February 2020, my twins, Assana and Bako, aged 13 months, were very sick. It all started with repeated diarrhoea and fever. After a few days, their health deteriorated enormously. They lost quite some weight and could no longer eat properly. With my meagre financial means, I was not able to take them to the health centre.

Fortunately, during this same period, we received the visit of Mrs Fadima OROU MAMADOU (Nutrition animator at the Foundation). She screened the two children and told us they were suffering from very severe malnutrition and should be referred to the zone hospital in BOKO.

She gave us a document (reference card) that we had to present to the hospital for free care of the children. My wife immediately got ready with the two children to go to Boko the next day. She also testifies.

My name is SAOUREGUI Aissétou, 30 years old. I am a housewife and mother of 6 children. When the nutrition animator gave us the reference document, I got ready to take the children to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital, I presented the document to the social worker who is in charge of treating malnourished children. For the first few days, the children were fed only with milk prepared by the social worker.

At the same time, the children were given medicines which I gave them at regular hours. A few days later, the social worker added another food that looks like biscuits (plumpy nut) to the milk, and the children each took one sachet a day.

After three weeks, my children were completely healthy again, and the social worker released us after the final tests. She gave me packets of Plumpy nut and enriched flour which I must continue to provide to the children at home.

When I return from the hospital, I frequently receive a visit from the social worker to follow the children with me regarding their diet. She has taught me how to compose balanced meals myself such as soy porridge, maize porridge enriched with peanut paste or eggs etc. She has also taught me how to make my own balanced meals. Today my children are doing very well and no longer have any health problems.

My husband and I thank the Hubi and Vinciane Foundation for saving the lives of our children thanks to its malnutrition project in our commune. I encourage them to continue this project also in the other communes to save our children.

We also thank the health workers of BOKO for their welcome and their availability during the hospitalisation of our twins.