MAGNA helps in forgotten Msambweni area in Kenya
02. 03. 2012
Medical centre in Vitsangalaweni.Copyright by Martin Bandzak/MAGNA
More than half of the Kenyan population, nearly 16 million people are poor and up to 7.5 million live in extreme poverty. Eighty per cent of the poor population lives in rural areas. Despite the fact that Kenya was one of the best emerging economies in the region, today is ranked among the poorest in the world.
The northern part of Kenya, is regularly threatened by extreme droughts, which results in a high occurrence of malnutrition among small children. In the Kenyan rural areas, children are considered less important than adults and often are those last, who get to eat – they have to wait, what will remain, until the rest of the family finish their meal.
One of the parts of Kenya is also southeast region of Msambweni on the border with Tanzania, a bit forgotten region with many people without access to primary health care. It is one of two districts where MAGNA currently operates with its projects of health assistance.
MAGNA’s team operates in Kenya since 2006 and currently consists of 5 international and 75 local aid workes that are dealing with health care, treatment of malnutrition or treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and they also respond to emergency humanitarian disasters.
„Malnutrition can be treated“, points out Martin Bandžák, a director of the organization. „It affects mainly children under five years and their mothers. Men suffer too, but they are not at such high risk. We strive to prevent child malnutrition and in cases when malnutrition is dignosed we provide treatment immediately and effectively. We use our long experience in distribution of nutrition food, its monitoring and also contribute to replacement nutrition programmes.”
Malnurished patients are treated with special therapeutic paste PlumpyNut. It contains a lot of calories and necessary vitamins and minerals. However, children with severe acute malnutrition are sometimes not able to eat at all. Those children are treated in the hospital.
MAGNA ensures an operation of nutrition centers in the health facilities of Msambweni district, and operates one stabilization centre directly in the district hospital. It is the healthcare center with a bed part, where children in such condition are treated when they meet criteria for hospitalization. In the same time, the project ensures care in 3 outpatients nutrition centers in the district of Msambweni.
"Within the period of six to eight weeks we can usually consider these children with acute malnutrition as treated. Everybody can help, the entire two month treatment of therapeutic paste costs 35 EUR!" adds Denisa Augustínová, operation director.