“I don’t want my children to go through this pain ever again”: Ahlam’s Story
Ahlam Munir lives in Kebridehar Kebele 14 with her six children and her Husband who works as a daily laborer. Because of the recurrent droughts in the Somali region, they have been forced to frequently move from one area to another in the past few years. Ahlam’s family has been benefiting from Save the Children’s ECHO project beginning from the time her daughter, Seida, was diagnosed with health complications that arose from malnutrition.
“When we came to the Stabilization Center she has already suffered from diarrhea and lost a lot of weight. She was very weak. After I brought her to the stabilization center in Kebridehar Hospital, they evaluated and admitted her because she required more specialized care. I have six children and Seida is my fourth. I was very worried that she won’t survive. But once she was admitted to the hospital, immediately, they gave her milk and medications. I did not have to pay for anything. In fact they even gave me money to cover my own expenses”, says Ahlam.
Dr. Moustefa Abdulahi is a General Practitioner in Kebridehar hospital and remembers when Ahlam was admitted. He says, “The most popular complications that arises from malnutrition are Pneumonia, Diarrhea and Skin Eruptions and Seida was already in the red line of Severe Acute Malnutrition. When she was admitted she was 48 months old and she weighed 7.3 kgs, where the normal weight for that age group is 13 Kgs. I am very grateful for the work Save the Children is working in this area on Nutrition and Health”.
Ahlam adds, “After my child was feeling much better and ready to be discharged from the hospital, they gave me a training on how to prepare nutritious meals for my family. Even though resources are very scarce. Now, I know how to prepare a balanced diet with whatever is available and I also understood that I could prevent this from happening to my younger children by breastfeeding them for as long as I can. I don’t want them to go through this pain ever again. I also went back to my community and started telling my neighbors how to feed their children and informing them where to go if their children are sick”.
With Motherly affection and heavy emotions on her face, Ahlam speaks “My Seida is studying the Quran and Inshallah, I wish for her to become a doctor when she grows up. Because I saw how the doctors worked so hard to save my child.”
Save the Children with funding from ECHO implements an integrated WASH, Health and Nutrition drought response intervention in six priority woredas in Somali region, Ethiopia to support the most vulnerable children women, and men in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps and host communities to meet their basic water, sanitation, nutrition and health needs.