MSF Field Report: Decreasing Child Mortality in South Sudan
Patients I’ll Never Forget
While working in Batil Refugee camp setting up an inpatient therapeutic feeding center, Dr. Jacoby met several patients that she’ll never forget. One of her first patients was a young boy with multiple bee stings to his head. He was in good humor and basically ok, but was starving for food to eat. When food was scarce, young boys, like “Bee Boy,” would climb trees to get honey from beehives for their families to eat.
Another one of her patients, Aziza, was severely malnourished and almost died multiple times a day for the first week. She would go into shock, because she was suffering from lots of infections that were difficult to treat. “We had to be really careful with Aziza, because malnourished kids lose so much muscle, and a lot of the muscle they lose is in their heart. If you give them too much fluid, they go into heart failure. So we sat with Aziza and we gave her small amounts of fluid, and then we’d recheck her heart rate every 15-20 minutes,” says Dr. Jacoby.
By the end of Dr. Jacoby’s stay in the Batil camp, Aziza was sitting up and even smiling a little bit. She would only cry when she was hungry. A couple of weeks later, Aziza finally went home.