Lakshmi: Treatment of Severely malnourished baby by VHW
Lakshmi, a 23 months old female child was brought to our hospital by our field workers Mr. Pande and Dr. Ajay Sadanshiv. The child was very critical &suffering from worst degree of severe malnutrition &severe pneumonia. Her weight was - 5.300kg (expected – 10 kg).
We requested relatives to admit the child in the hospital for treatment. However they refused flatly, saying “she was admitted in various Govt. Hospitals including district hospital during last 2 months but she could not improve & finally sent back home” & ‘Now it is God’s will’. Lakshmi went home to her remote village in Melghat.
After 2 days when MAHAN team visited Lakshmi’s house, they found that Agarbattis (fragrant incense stick) were being burnt in the house and relatives prayed to God. After long persuasion they agreed to accept our treatment.
Our village health worker Meerabi (7th std.) treated her at her home as per treatment guidelines developed by Dr. Dani, Mrs. Pendharkar and Dr. Satav.
Treatment of Pneumonia by giving daily Injection of Antibiotic for 9 days followed by oral antibiotic for Pneumonia Treatment of severe malnutrition. It consisted of specially designed food as per WHO guidelines (F-75, RUTF). The food was prepared from local produce by local tribal females under our supervision at MAHAN.
Lakshmi showed steep improvement. Her pneumonia was cured. Her weight increased from 5.3 kg to 8.2 kg in 90 days.
Severe malnutrition can be treated at their home by village health worker under close supervision by very carefully prepared scientific diet from locally available food material, prepared by local tribal females under strict supervision. It is safe, cost effective, acceptable, achievable, approachable and hence replicable.
We are thankful to Dr. Vibhavari Dani, Mrs. Pendharkar, Meerabi, Dr. Ajay, Pande, Caring friends Mumbai (Ashish Kacholiya, Ramesh uncle Kacholiya, Nimeshbhai Shah) , Stitching Geron and Cordaid, the Netherlands, Kasturba Health Society, Sevagram (Dhirubhaiji Mehta, Halbe sir) for their full hearted support to achieve this success.