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Success! Shallon from Uganda raised $316 to fund malnutrition treatment.

  • $316 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Shallon's treatment was fully funded on September 1, 2017.

Photo of Shallon post-operation

July 11, 2017

Shallon received malnutrition treatment.

Upon seeing her discharge photos, you would never know that Shallon had been suffering from malnutrition. Shallon is back to her playful, happy self. She is back at home with her mother in their village, enjoying life and playing with the other children. Her mother learned the cooking and nutritional skills needed in order to help prevent malnutrition in the future.

“I am so grateful for the help in restoring my daughter to health,” says Shallon’s mother. “We were so worried. This program is a gift from God because it helps children who can’t help themselves and teaches mothers how to better care for their children.”

Upon seeing her discharge photos, you would never know that Shallon had been suffering from malnutrition. Shallon is back to her playful, ha...

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April 16, 2017

“I just want to see my daughter laugh and play again,” shares Shallon’s mother.

Shallon, an 18-month-old baby girl from Uganda, has been sick for two months. She is extremely thin and weak, experiences diarrhea, and has lost her appetite. Her mother brought her to Bwindi Community Hospital, our medical partner’s care center, where she was diagnosed with malnutrition.

In addition to the immediate dangers that Shallon faces from a compromised immune system, she runs the long-term risks of compromised physical and cognitive development.

Before she fell ill, Shallon was a very different girl. She was a lively child who liked running and playing. She would mimic everything she saw her mother do, from rinsing dishes and washing her father’s hands to digging in the garden.

In order to restore her to this state of health and happiness, Shallon’s doctors need to provide her with emergency nutritional supplies, such as therapeutic milk and dextrose. On April 16, they will also run a number of lab tests to evaluate her body’s needs and to determine whether there are any additional causes for Shallon’s lack of appetite.

Shallon’s parents—who provide food for the family through subsistence farming and earn a small income making bricks and baskets to sell—do not have enough money to pay for their daughter’s medical care. But for $316, we can cover the costs of Shallon’s lab tests and nutritional supplies, as well as her ten-day stay at the hospital and transportation home.

Let’s make sure Shallon can once more become the energetic child that her parents remember.

“I am so grateful for the help,” says Shallon’s mother.

“I just want to see my daughter laugh and play again,” shares Shallon’s mother. Shallon, an 18-month-old baby girl from Uganda, has bee...

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Shallon's Timeline

  • April 16, 2017

    Shallon was submitted by Sheila Hosner at The Kellermann Foundation.

  • April 16, 2017

    Shallon received treatment at Bwindi Community Hospital in Uganda. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • May 2, 2017

    Shallon's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 11, 2017

    Shallon's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • September 1, 2017

    Shallon's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 7 donors

Funded by 7 donors

Ped. Malnutrition
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $316 for Shallon's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

At our medical partner's care center, Bwindi Community Hospital, two types of malnutrition are treated on an in-patient basis: moderate acute malnutrition and severe acute malnutrition. Moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) is also called “wasting” and is characterized by low weight-for-height indicators or by low mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) indicators. Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is the most dangerous type of malnutrition. It is caused by extreme deprivation of vital nutrients and becomes life-threatening because of its alterations of important functions of the body. SAM can manifest in two ways: severe wasting and oedema. Severe wasting is caused by extreme nutrient and calorie deficiency. Its symptoms include a massive loss of body fat and muscle tissue. This results in “baggy pants syndrome," in which the skin is loose while the body is extremely thin. Malnutrition of this type is also called marasmus. Oedema is caused primarily by the deficiency of protein in the diet. The body's extremities become extremely swollen. The oedema then progresses to the face and other areas of the body. Other symptoms include skin lesions, an enlarged liver, and changes in hair color. Malnutrition of this type is also called kwashiorkor. Kwashiorkor is the most common type of malnutrition treated at Bwindi Community Hospital.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

If not treated, moderate acute malnutrition can quickly progress to severe acute malnutrition. Chronic malnutrition can cause long-term growth and development issues, such as stunting and reduced cognitive capacity. Untreated, severe acute malnutrition can result in death.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

There are many underlying causes of acute malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, including poverty, family size, lack of nutritional knowledge, mental health issues in caregivers, disease, war, social problems, and lack of clean water. Treatment is necessary to prevent malnutrition from becoming chronic and having a long-term impact on a child's development.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Bwindi Community Hospital has a robust program for the treatment and prevention of malnutrition. Combining multifaceted community education, the assessment of nutritional status of children, and treatment of acute malnutrition, its goal is to prevent all forms of malnutrition. Hospital in-patient treatment, supported by Watsi, is reserved for the most acute cases. Every three months, the hospital’s Community Health Nursing Team (CHT) works with Village Health Teams (VHTs) to assess the nutritional status of all of the approximate 10,000 under-five children in its catchment area. Milder cases of malnutrition, which are the majority, are referred to district health centers for management. Early case-finding and treatment prevents progression to life-threatening, expensive, and complicated malnutrition. In addition, the CHT and VHTs conduct health education classes for the community. Subjects covered include family planning, sanitation and hygiene, maternal health, and prevention of illness. All of these issues are related to malnutrition. Once admitted to the hospital, a child is given a series of milk formulas. These formulas are calibrated to carefully increase nutrient and protein intake. After the formula phase, the child transitions to “Ready to Use Therapeutic Food” (RUTF). At Bwindi Community Hospital, the RUTF is a peanut butter-based food called plumpyNut™. It is nutrient-rich and packed with a high concentration of protein and energy. Supplements, such as Vitamin A and folic acid, are given. Antibiotics are given, if needed, to treat concurrent infections. After transitioning to the RUTF, the child is given an appetite test. If he or she eats well, the child is discharged and returns home with a supply of plumpyNut™ to supplement local foods. While the child is in the hospital, his or her caregiver receives health and nutritional education, including cooking classes, to help prevent recurrence of malnutrition. Food from a demonstration nutritional garden is used in the cooking classes and provided free to patients. When discharged, the child is referred to a local health facility and community nurse for follow-up. The child continues receiving treatment and supplemental food until his or her goal weight is reached.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

If the correct treatment is started promptly, a patient’s life can be saved. Any long-term impacts, such as stunting or cognitive development issues, can be mitigated or prevented. The child’s development is put back on track.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

There are no side effects or risks with this treatment.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Care for malnutrition without severe complications is available in district health centers, which is where most children are treated. When complications arise, adequate treatment is only available in hospitals. Patients are usually referred to the hospital by a community health team. They generally travel from 20 to 50 kilometers away and arrive by either walking or traveling on a hired motorcycle.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternative medications to treat acute, complicated malnutrition. Alternative hospitals are more than two-hour drive away.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.