Meet Fatimata - a mother of two
Fatimata is the mother of two small children, Soumaila (aged two) and Aicha (aged six.) Living in Niger they are at the heart of the West Africa food crisis.
The younger of her children, Soumaila, is severely malnourished. He has been this way for the past two months – lack of rainfall, failing crops and pressure on existing food supplies has meant that families like Fatimata’s are struggling to find and afford food.
In seeking help Fatimata has brought Soumaila to a World Vision supported health clinic where he is being treated for malnutrition. She would have brought him sooner but thought that she would have to pay for the treatment - which she couldn’t afford.
During last year’s food crisis Soumaila was also malnourished – at just two years old he has been underfed for most of his life.
As a caring mother Fatimata has become concerned for the future for her family:
‘When I wake up in the morning the first thing I think about is where I am going to get food for that day [...] I’m very afraid of the situation here, and I know it is going to get worse. Life here is very tough but if we went back to Sourghaybangu [where she used to live] we would die from starvation.’
Doctor Abdul Karim Issaka working at the health clinic is very worried about the effects of the food crisis.
“Since December the number of severely malnourished children has been rising. I see on average 50 children a month who are malnourished. Around 20 of them are acutely malnourished. Two children died here last week from malnutrition.
“I currently only have 300 sachets of plumpy nut this is enough for one more busy clinic session - after that I have nothing. If I don’t get more supplies of plumpy nut then many more children will die.”
World Vision is supporting mothers like Fatimata seek the treatment they need for their families. By providing health clinics, staff and supplies of treatments like plumpy nut – a nutritious supplement – we are helping get children like Soumaila back to health. But more still needs to be done.