Posts tagged infant

Situation Critical: An MSF Frontline Report from the Unfolding Refugee Crisis in South Sudan

Join us on Wednesday at 8pm ET for a live webcast discussion on the refugee crisis in South Sudan, featuring recently returned Doctors Without Borders field staff.

Situation Critical: An MSF Frontline Report from the Unfolding Refugee Crisis in South Sudan

Join us on Wednesday at 8pm ET for a live webcast discussion on the refugee crisis in South Sudan, featuring recently returned Doctors Without Borders field staff.

After being served numerous rounds of tea, one of the nutritional surveyors brought forth a father carrying his tiny child – a baby of 4 weeks, who had been sick with diarrhea for one week, and now looked like an emaciated bird. The father sat on the edge of the pink frilly mattress, and cried while I asked questions about the baby’s illness. The father, speaking fluent French, described how days earlier he had walked 4 hours each way with the baby in search of help from the nearest health centre. The health centre had been closed, and he had returned home with the baby.
Trish Newport is working for MSF as a community outreach nurse in Chad. This is her fifth mission for MSF. When not on mission, she lives and works as a nurse in the Yukon, Canada.

Read from her blog.
Fighting Unusually High Malnutrition Rates in Chad and Preparing for Worse

As a food crisis continues to spread and levels of severe acute malnutrition continue to rise in Chad, MSF is expanding the number of emergency malnutrition treatment programs it is operating in the country. Even in a normal year, Chad has one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition in the world. This year is showing signs of being worse than usual. In early 2012, in some areas of the country, rates of global acute malnutrition as high as 24 percent have already been reported among children under the age of five.Why are there such alarming rates of malnutrition in Biltine?
February is the beginning of the hunger gap in Chad, when families traditionally begin to run out of their food stocks. This year MSF found high rates of severe acute malnutrition rates among children under five, because only 46 percent of the harvest required to feed the population was harvested, which is well below the average. Many Chadians who worked in Libya also lost their jobs and returned home. Those men have moved to other parts of Chad to find work, but the salaries are much lower, so they are sending home less money.A staff member uses a MUAC to check a child for malnutrition at an MSF hospital in Chad.
Chad 2012 © Andrea Bussotti/MSF

Fighting Unusually High Malnutrition Rates in Chad and Preparing for Worse

As a food crisis continues to spread and levels of severe acute malnutrition continue to rise in Chad, MSF is expanding the number of emergency malnutrition treatment programs it is operating in the country. Even in a normal year, Chad has one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition in the world. This year is showing signs of being worse than usual. In early 2012, in some areas of the country, rates of global acute malnutrition as high as 24 percent have already been reported among children under the age of five.

Why are there such alarming rates of malnutrition in Biltine?

February is the beginning of the hunger gap in Chad, when families traditionally begin to run out of their food stocks. This year MSF found high rates of severe acute malnutrition rates among children under five, because only 46 percent of the harvest required to feed the population was harvested, which is well below the average. Many Chadians who worked in Libya also lost their jobs and returned home. Those men have moved to other parts of Chad to find work, but the salaries are much lower, so they are sending home less money.

A staff member uses a MUAC to check a child for malnutrition at an MSF hospital in Chad.

Chad 2012 © Andrea Bussotti/MSF

When I get to the hospital, the patient is prepared for the operating theatre, and just waiting for me to evaluate her. She is 3cm dilated – which is very early in labor – and yet her contractions have stopped. The fetal head is so high up in the pelvis that the midwife’s fingers can barely touch it – a bad sign.

Veronica Ades is an obstetrician-gynecologist on her first MSF mission in Aweil, South Sudan. She has not yet mastered the art of the pit latrine.

Read more from her blog.

Pregnant With MalariaPatient: Zamukunda [name changed], 20 years old and pregnant, Mweso Hospital, North Kivu

“My name is Zamukunda. I tested positive for malaria at the health center. This morning I delivered my first child, a boy who weighed 1.6 kg [3.5 pounds]. My labor began very late last night, which was a surprise because I was still far from my delivery date. I was in a lot of pain and was bleeding, which made me worry, so I left the house with my mother and we walked for two hours to reach this health center.

My baby was born at two in the morning. He was not breathing very well and I was continuing to bleed so MSF decided to transfer us in their car from Kashuga to the main hospital in Mweso. We picked up another woman and her child who was very sick with malaria. The trip took only an hour since there has not been much rain. Now I am in the intensive care unit at the hospital with my baby, who is on oxygen. So far we are doing okay.”DRC 2012 © Sandra Smiley
Patients receiving malaria treatment in an MSF-supported hospital in Katanga province.

Pregnant With Malaria

Patient: Zamukunda [name changed], 20 years old and pregnant, Mweso Hospital, North Kivu

“My name is Zamukunda. I tested positive for malaria at the health center. This morning I delivered my first child, a boy who weighed 1.6 kg [3.5 pounds]. My labor began very late last night, which was a surprise because I was still far from my delivery date. I was in a lot of pain and was bleeding, which made me worry, so I left the house with my mother and we walked for two hours to reach this health center.

My baby was born at two in the morning. He was not breathing very well and I was continuing to bleed so MSF decided to transfer us in their car from Kashuga to the main hospital in Mweso. We picked up another woman and her child who was very sick with malaria. The trip took only an hour since there has not been much rain. Now I am in the intensive care unit at the hospital with my baby, who is on oxygen. So far we are doing okay.”

DRC 2012 © Sandra Smiley
Patients receiving malaria treatment in an MSF-supported hospital in Katanga province.

MSF Blogs: 18-Month-Old Bahati’s Struggle to Survive Severe Malaria

Time is everything—delay treatment and the parasites multiply unchecked and the child reaches a point of no return. Lejuif—the nurse on duty—and I started with the sickest looking child, 18-month-old Bahati. His feet were cold, signalling he was in shock. He didn’t respond when we rubbed him vigorously on his chest—he was in a coma—and his chest heaved up and down. He had severe respiratory distress. His hemoglobin, the measure of how much oxygen his red blood cells could carry, was very low. He needed an immediate blood transfusion.


This post originally appeared on the Guardian’s (UK) "Poverty Matters" blog.DRC 2011 © Robin Meldrum/MSF
Like Bahati, three-year-old Jean Marc is being treated by MSF for severe malaria.

MSF Blogs: 18-Month-Old Bahati’s Struggle to Survive Severe Malaria

Time is everything—delay treatment and the parasites multiply unchecked and the child reaches a point of no return. Lejuif—the nurse on duty—and I started with the sickest looking child, 18-month-old Bahati. His feet were cold, signalling he was in shock. He didn’t respond when we rubbed him vigorously on his chest—he was in a coma—and his chest heaved up and down. He had severe respiratory distress. His hemoglobin, the measure of how much oxygen his red blood cells could carry, was very low. He needed an immediate blood transfusion.

This post originally appeared on the Guardian’s (UK) "Poverty Matters" blog.

DRC 2011 © Robin Meldrum/MSF
Like Bahati, three-year-old Jean Marc is being treated by MSF for severe malaria.

This 20-month old boy was brought to the emergency room of MSF’s Niangara Hospital unresponsive and close to death. One of the first steps of treatment was to wrap him in a survival blanket to increase his body temperature. A particularly troubling aspect of the increase in malaria cases in DRC is the high number of severe cases requiring hospitalization and urgent blood transfusions due to malaria-induced anemia.  — in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Photo: Robin Meldrum/MSF

This 20-month old boy was brought to the emergency room of MSF’s Niangara Hospital unresponsive and close to death. One of the first steps of treatment was to wrap him in a survival blanket to increase his body temperature. A particularly troubling aspect of the increase in malaria cases in DRC is the high number of severe cases requiring hospitalization and urgent blood transfusions due to malaria-induced anemia. — in Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Photo: Robin Meldrum/MSF

After arriving by canoe in Ntondo, Equateur Province, DRC, an MSF nurse screens people for malaria. The response includes screening and treating patients, and referring severe cases to the nearest health facility.  — in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Photo: Robin Meldrum/MSF

After arriving by canoe in Ntondo, Equateur Province, DRC, an MSF nurse screens people for malaria. The response includes screening and treating patients, and referring severe cases to the nearest health facility. — in Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Photo: Robin Meldrum/MSF

As the sun went down and the ridges of the Mitumba mountains turned a smoke blue, a line of mothers sat quietly on a wooden bench in front of the nurses’ station in the pediatric tent. The children lying prostrate in their laps were new admissions, too weak to protest against the nurses, who wore miner’s headlamps to help search for a vein to place a drip.

Chris Bird, a former Reuters and Guardian reporter, put down his notepad and left more than 10 years of news reporting to study medicine with the intention of returning to the front lines where he can be hands-on saving lives and alleviating the kind of suffering he once wrote about.

Here he talks about18-month-old Bahati’s struggle to survive severe malaria.

A little girl’s finger is pricked in order to test her blood for malaria at Nambia Health Center in Haut-Uele Province. Her test result is negative, but her 15-month-old sister tests positive. The number of people treated for malaria in MSF projects in DRC has increased by 250% since 2009, with a sharp rise in the first 3 months of 2012. — in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Photo: Robin Meldrum/MSF

A little girl’s finger is pricked in order to test her blood for malaria at Nambia Health Center in Haut-Uele Province. Her test result is negative, but her 15-month-old sister tests positive. The number of people treated for malaria in MSF projects in DRC has increased by 250% since 2009, with a sharp rise in the first 3 months of 2012. — in Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Photo: Robin Meldrum/MSF

A Potential Time Bomb of High Infection Rates and Drug Resistant Strains of Malaria

On April 25, the annual World Malaria Day, many health organizations will highlight important gains in fighting this deadly disease that claims more than one million lives every year. But despite notable progress in innovation and investment, MSF continues to see continuously high rates of malaria in several African countries. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), MSF has observed infection rates above emergency thresholds in several zones over the last six months, which can be largely attributed to a dysfunctional surveillance system, the failure of the health system to respond to elevated levels of malaria, poor organization, and lack of diagnostic testing and drugs.DRC 2011 © Robin Meldrum
A mother and child in the pediatric ward of Niangara hospital.

A Potential Time Bomb of High Infection Rates and Drug Resistant Strains of Malaria

On April 25, the annual World Malaria Day, many health organizations will highlight important gains in fighting this deadly disease that claims more than one million lives every year. But despite notable progress in innovation and investment, MSF continues to see continuously high rates of malaria in several African countries. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), MSF has observed infection rates above emergency thresholds in several zones over the last six months, which can be largely attributed to a dysfunctional surveillance system, the failure of the health system to respond to elevated levels of malaria, poor organization, and lack of diagnostic testing and drugs.

DRC 2011 © Robin Meldrum
A mother and child in the pediatric ward of Niangara hospital.

Mauritania: Thousands of Refugees From Mali Facing Poor ConditionsHealth and Living Conditions Stretched Thin in Camp and Surrounding Area

Increasing numbers of people from Mali are entering a refugee camp in neighboring Mauritania, where health and living conditions are already poor,  MSF said today.

At least 57,000 people from Mali have entered the Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania since late January. Roughly 1,500 people are arriving in the camp per day, up from 200 per day on April 5. Thousands more people are expected to arrive. In response to the massive influx, MSF is bolstering its activities and emergency medical aid in the desert area, where access to medical care is extremely limited.Mauritania 2012 © Francois Talla/MSF
A Malian woman driven from her home by fighting watches as an MSF doctor checks on her child at the rapidly expanding Mbera camp in Mauritania.

Mauritania: Thousands of Refugees From Mali Facing Poor Conditions
Health and Living Conditions Stretched Thin in Camp and Surrounding Area

Increasing numbers of people from Mali are entering a refugee camp in neighboring Mauritania, where health and living conditions are already poor, MSF said today.

At least 57,000 people from Mali have entered the Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania since late January. Roughly 1,500 people are arriving in the camp per day, up from 200 per day on April 5. Thousands more people are expected to arrive. In response to the massive influx, MSF is bolstering its activities and emergency medical aid in the desert area, where access to medical care is extremely limited.

Mauritania 2012 © Francois Talla/MSF
A Malian woman driven from her home by fighting watches as an MSF doctor checks on her child at the rapidly expanding Mbera camp in Mauritania.

Better Treatment for HIV-Positive Pregnant Women

The World Health Organization recently issued new guidelines to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The recommendations include getting more women on treatment sooner and staying on it for life. The guidelines have the support of Doctors Without Borders.

Read more on this article from Voice of America.


Photo: MSF / Brendan Bannon
MSF HIV specialist Dr. Eamonn Vitt examines an HIV positive Ugandan woman who’s 7 months pregnant. (Nov. 2009)

Better Treatment for HIV-Positive Pregnant Women

The World Health Organization recently issued new guidelines to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The recommendations include getting more women on treatment sooner and staying on it for life. The guidelines have the support of Doctors Without Borders. Read more on this article from Voice of America. Photo: MSF / Brendan Bannon
MSF HIV specialist Dr. Eamonn Vitt examines an HIV positive Ugandan woman who’s 7 months pregnant. (Nov. 2009)

HIV in infants born to HIV-positive mothers is a big problem in the developing world. There are around 2 million HIV-positive children in developing countries, whereas in the United Kingdom, for example, there are just 70. So, we’ve almost got rid of this problem in the West, but in the developing world it’s a big problem.
Dr. Nathan Ford, MSF Medical Aid Coordinator, in an interview on Voice of America about better treatment for HIV-positive pregnant women.