The life of a three-year-old girl is supposed to be about dolls, ‘tea parties’ and jungle gyms. Aurelia Chaomgende’s life is certainly a far cry from this. Her stature and energy levels are poorly developed compared to that of her peers, which is evident in her peeling skin, weak body, protruding rib cage, and flaky hair.
Today, although Aurelia is still critically ill, there is now a glimmer of hope for a full recovery. Aurelia is at the Bolombo Malnutrition Clinic in Benguela Province, where she is being treated for kwashiorkor, a condition that is caused by a lack of nutrition and protein.
Manuel Abel, a nurse at Bolombo Clinic, admits that he did not have much hope that Aurelia would survive when her mother first brought her to the clinic. “Aurelia’s case of kwashiorkor was one of the worst I had ever seen. I have been working here since 2004,” said Abel.
Abel now believes that Aurelia will make a full recovery, even though her healing process will probably take longer than usual. She has already lost out on quite a bit of her early childhood because – instead of playing with family and friends – she lies in the Clinic fighting to recover and heal the gaping mottled holes on her legs and arms, which were a result of her peeling skin from poor nutrition.
Like many other families, the Chaomgende family has been struggling as a result of the drought that has plagued Angola for many years now. As a result of the drought, the Chaomgende’s patch of farming land has failed to produce their staple food of maize, which has meant that they are no longer able to provide adequately for their family.
With her parents not working, they have no means to supplement Aurelia’s diet with protein, which resulted in her languishing in a hospital bed. Without the assistance of JAM and Saving Moses, the chances of Aurelia making a recovery would be slim.
Since she came to the Clinic Aurelia has been on F75 and F100 therapeutic milk formulas, which are the most reliable forms of treatment against kwashiorkor. Without the support of this milk Manuel would see more children die than he sees recover, which is a burden no one should suffer. Once she has fully recovered, Aurelia will also have the opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures of being a child.
JAM invites you to help us continue providing the people of Angola with much needed help. If you are able to make a difference in the lives of the millions of beneficiaries we reach through our Nutritional Feeding programmes, please contact JAM Canada on email: firstname.lastname@example.org.