"Finally the wait is over"

by Karin Wilke/RBU,  2010/08/08

While day by day honorary members of the first medical relief team of humedica are offering help to the flood victims in Pakistan, the humedica team in Niger is also putting all their efforts in helping those people who live in misery by no fault of their own. In her report, Karin Wilke describes what the team’s latest achievements.

The humedica coordinator needs to introduce the additional food slowly to mothers and their children. Photo: humedica/Karin Wilke

"The next phase of the emergency food programme run by humedica was initiated a few days ago. After we had been provided with 22 tons of relief goods by the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations, we could start to distribute additional food to pregnant and nursing women as well as to malnourished children.

Apart from the food distributions at eight health centres which are spread across the entire district, above all the humedica hospital in Kollo is an important basis for the food programme.

Mothers, whose children are suffering from undernutrition and receive outpatient or inpatient treatment at our hospital, receive special training concerning the preparation of the additional food. The highly interested participants pay full attention to the demonstrations and they express their immense gratitude for this support. Now we can provide mothers of moderately undernourished children, as well as nursing and pregnant women directly with rations of this additional food.

We will hold these training measures on a weekly basis, and mothers, as well as those local humedica employees and nurses interested, can participate. For the attendants the most exciting part of the training was the tasting of the finished food mixture which everyone considered to be very good. This food mixture is intended for mothers who are able to care for their children at home, as well as for children who are dismissed after a longer stay at the hospital.

Together with local assistants, we finally began to distribute the first of the 22 tons of additional food we have received so far. "We were a little nervous, of course, since we didn't know whether the minor roads could be used at all or whether they were impassable due to the latest rainfalls", said Simone Winneg, humedica coordinator.

But there were no problems with the roads and also the managers of the health centres had already prepared everything; therefore the first distribution was successful. "We are very happy and glad that the food finally has arrived and that for the time being the wait is over for the needy ones."

Over the next few days, we will be able to distribute additional rations of food to another 1,600 malnourished children and almost 400 pregnant and nursing women. This is a total of 18.5 tons of food!

The additional food has been developed in the framework of one of the nutrition concepts of the United Nations' World Food Programme. This additional food is ideal for providing people with supplementary food they can prepare at their own homes. Hence, the mothers need to make the long way to our hospital only once a fortnight. By means of checking their body weight and growth on a regular basis, the development process of undernourished children can be observed.

The attendants are paying full attention to the explanations of nutritionist Karin Wilke. Photo: humedica

We would like to express our thanks to the German Federal Foreign Office, the World Food Programme of the United Nations, and UNICEF; it was their support that made the implementation of the humedica food programme possible to start with. And of course we would like to thank you, dear friends and sponsors of humedica.

Thanks to our joint relief efforts, we are able to help many people suffering from hunger. Our help reaches those who need it - please continue supporting the food project of humedica by means of your donation. Kind regards from Kollo,

Yours Karin Wilke"

Please also make a donation to fight the famine in Niger using our online form or to the account below:
      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference "Famine Niger"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

You can support our relief measures and fight the famine in Niger by means of sending a text message containing the reference word DOC to +49 8 11 90. 4.83 euros will be channelled directly into the humedica project work THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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