Shiela is an 18-month-old baby from the Philippines. She lives in a small house made of metal sheets and bamboo. Her father works as a carpenter to support the family. Shiela’s parents say that their daughter loves sucking on her thumb.
Shiela has been diagnosed with moderately acute malnutrition. Malnutrition threatens her growth and development and could even be fatal if not addressed. Fortunately, she will begin $184 malnutrition treatment on February 22.
Shiela will be treated by International Care Ministries (ICM), a Watsi medical partner. One out of five children under five in ICM communities is either severely or moderately malnourished. Worldwide, poor nutrition is associated with nearly half of all deaths in young children. In remote communities and urban slums of the Philippines, the lack of clean water and unclean environments add risk to potentially fatal childhood diseases.
ICM’s home-based feeding program provides nutrient-enriched food packs to ensure malnourished children get additional food to regain normal weight and achieve optimum physical and mental development. After identifying a child as malnourished, staff and community volunteers make weekly visits to monitor this child’s progress. To help sustain the health of the child, ICM’s professional staff educate the mother, guardian, or other family members about proper nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, and organic vegetable gardening.
Shiela’s mother is excited for her daughter’s future. She says, “I hope that my child will soon learn to walk and grow strong and healthy. I hope she becomes a nurse one day.”