Dhaqan was worried about her daughter.

Dhaqan and her daughter Saynab at a PWS&D-supported nutrition centre. Photo: Trocaire

At five months old, little Saynab weighed only eight pounds. She wasn’t eating and had developed a fever.

Dhaqan and Saynab live in a camp for displaced persons in Somalia, in a region made vulnerable by prolonged drought. Dhaqan could see that a lack of food, poor hygiene and stress was taking a toll on the little girl, but she couldn’t afford to seek treatment.

“I almost gave up,” shares Dhaqan. But her fragile hope returned when they heard about a nutrition centre nearby.

The centre is supported by PWS&D with members of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Responding in a drought-stricken region of Somalia, PWS&D has been helping provide nutrition assistance for young children, as well as pregnant or lactating women at risk of malnutrition.

At the centre, Dhaqan learned that Saynab was malnourished, dehydrated and suffering from a respiratory infection. A doctor prescribed medicine and a therapeutic formula to help Saynab heal and grow.

The Key to a Healthy Start

While her daughter’s health continued to improve, an encouraged Dhaqan participated in awareness sessions, which make up another component of the project, on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.

In emergency situations, when communities are faced with limited access to clean water, food and basic health services, breastfeeding guarantees a safe, nutritious and accessible food source for newborns, while shielding them from disease.

After a week, Saynab gained enough strength to start breastfeeding, and Dhaqan has seen her daughter transform. “My child is so peaceful and playful. I pray she will make a full recovery and grow like her other siblings.” Now discharged, Saynab and Dhaqan are receiving monthly food baskets.

Respond With Us!

In Somalia, the crippling effects of drought are made worse by militant violence and a lack of response from an unstable government. More than six million people are in need of assistance. The situation for children is especially dire—over one million children are at risk of acute malnutrition.

Respond with us to meet the immediate needs of the hungry and displaced across the African continent. Please mark your donation “Africa Relief.”

PWS&D is a member of Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a coalition of 15 church-based agencies working together with the common goal of eliminating global hunger. This project was undertaken with matching support from the Government of Canada.