"Kamran is the smallest baby I have ever seen“

by Heidi Nicklin/RBU,  2010/12/04

Heidi Nicklin has been working as a coordinator for humedica in the south of Pakistan since the beginning of November. Her main responsibility is to initiate the humedica programme for treating and providing for undernourished children. Even being an experienced coordinator she is now facing situations she does not know from former missions.

“Kamran is the smallest baby I have ever seen. The little boy was born on October 17 of this year in the eighth month of pregnancy, weighing a mere 1,700 grams. His mother is 15 years old.

When he was five weeks old, little Kamran weighed barely 1,400 grams. Photo: humedica/Heidi Nicklin

I saw him for the first time when he was about three weeks old. When taking him in my arms, I was deeply alarmed: I was holding his little head with his shock of black hair in one hand, and his feet hardly reached my elbow.

We took Kamran and his mother to hospital, since he really was alarmingly thin. There he was given an infusion and after two days he was dismissed again. When the boy was dismissed we were simply told that the hospital could unfortunately not take care of newborns and that the mother had to find out by herself where she could go to with her little boy.

But this, exactly, is the problem. The mother herself is still very young, and moreover she is an orphan. And although she loves her child, she definitely lacks experience and lives at one of the numerous refugee camps together with her husband, who is only three years older than her.

After being dismissed from hospital, Kamran still did not receive enough food in order to gain weight. It would not even have been enough for him to survive, if it had continued like this.

The young family is put to a hard test. Photo: humedica/Heidi Nicklin

During the following weeks I visited him two more times and each time I explained to the mother that her child needed to be fed more milk and above all more frequently. The little boy was dear to me, but there still remained the essential question of where we could receive help regarding this special case. Up to this point we had been unable to find a hospital that takes in infants below the age of six months.

A few days ago, I returned to the refugee camp once more and wanted to enquire about the little boy and his mother. Other inhabitants who knew me and the young family immediately told me that Kamran’s state had deteriorated and that his mother had taken him to hospital once more.

When I went to the mentioned hospital, I met Kamran and his parents when they were just leaving the building. Again, they had been sent away, and, like last time, with the reason that no one could help them at the hospital. In the meantime, Kamran’s body weight had decreased further to only 1,400 grams – him being five weeks old!

Fortunately, even before this event, I had found a missionary hospital in a city 50 kilometres away that also takes in infants under the age of six months. Although only mothers and their children are allowed to enter the hospital, and hence taking the boy there would mean a separation from the father, the young parents immediately agreed to go there.

Even months after the heavy foods, numerous people are still living in make-shift shelters – mostly without food and clean water. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

At the same day we took Kamran and his mother to the hospital. Since then, the little boy is lying in an incubator and he has already gained some weight after only two days. Now, my only hope is that his mother will stay at hospital long enough – that is up to the point when Kamran’s state of health is stable once more”.

The help and support we offer to the population is still essential for many people’s lives. Please support us.

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference “Flood relief Pakistan
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

You can also choose another way of helping those in need in Pakistan: simply send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90 or make a donation via our online form. Thank you very much.

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