This is the story of Zakaria,, a boy aged 59 months who hails from a village in Merka town. This picture shows Zakaria on admission and on discharge Zakaria is a 59 month old child who was brought to Horsed/ Merka nutrition centre together with his younger sister with severe acute malnutrition. In addition to edema, his sister was lethargic with an inability to take anything. We referred her but we later learned that she died on the same day. Zakaria mother was also sick, so he was brought by his father after being referred to the facility by a community nutrition worker, Mrs. Fatuma.

When Zakaria was brought to us he had generalized edema, was coughing and was apathetic. His arm circumference was14.3cm, weight 16kg, height 90.5cm. He was immediately admitted into the Oral Therapeutic Program and was treated during regular follow-up visits to the clinic. Only after 2 months, he finally got cured and discharged to therapeutic supplementary feeding program on the same site.
Zakaria had 10 siblings, 6 boys and 4 girls, 7 of them are alive, 3 died. One died due to malnutrition and the other two because of measles. Zakaria’s father Jeylani is a mason and mother is a housewife and they have difficulties to make ends meet with no sustainable means of income.

Today I understand the reasons why my other three children died says Jeylani. ‘Now, I regularly go to the facility and receive advice from the nurses there on how to prepare food which are nutritious for children with the resources that are available at home every day. Now I have taught Zakaria’s mother how to cook porridge and other locally available nutritious food for Zakaria and his other siblings. I feel grateful to SWISSO-KALMO who told me about the special needs of my son and the way facility staff supported me and my family. I was not sure whether my son will survive but God has seen us through.”

Swisso-Kalmo is implementing projects in Marka Town to prevent and treat severe and moderate acute malnutrition through provision of therapeutic and supplementary feeding for malnourished children. Immunization services are also provided in all intervention sites and the capacity is developed of the staff and community on how best to handle malnutrition through trainings, coaching and mentorship. It also provides food ration to 500 families including Zakaria’s family. Malnutrition rates in those areas are likely to go down as a result of Swisso Kalmo’s