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Hope for Malnourished Children in Honduras 

 
In August, the MAMA Project sent teams of volunteers to rural villages in Honduras to provide care for people who have little or no access to medical services. The MAMA Project is a Christian organization and CCIH member based in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania in the U.S. Each year, the organization sends between 15 to 18 teams of physicians, nurses, dentists and translators to Honduras, and has already sent approximately 200 volunteers this year.
 
“We travel to areas where people have to walk one to two hours to get to a clinic,” explains Amanda Sagastume, Program Coordinator for the MAMA Project. “We often find children with malnutrition, intestinal parasites and asthma, and adults with high blood pressure. People do not have the money to get the care that they need.” 
 
Volunteer Stacey Kenny is shown above with a child at a MAMA Project Nutrition Center in August 2015. 
 
Malnutrition is a major problem for children in Honduras. The MAMA Project operates Nutrition Centers where malnourished children can be treated and mothers can learn how to improve nutrition. 
 
 
When the medical teams visit a community, they weigh and measure the children. If they find children with malnutrition, the team members speak to the mothers and encourage them to spend time at the Nutrition Centers. Families spend at least 30 days at the center.
 
While the children receive nutritious meals and medical care, their mothers receive daily lessons to help them improve nutrition, such as preventing intestinal parasites, running a garden, and using micronutrients in their food. “We develop relationships with the mothers and children we help at those centers,” said Amanda. Approximately 100 families receive help from the Nutrition Centers each year. Fathers generally stay home and work and visit the children on Sundays while they are at the center.
 
When the team visited Llanos in Taulabe, Honduras, they identified malnutrition in a toddler named Lisbeth and spoke to her mother, Maria, about attending the Nutrition Center. She had known about the MAMA Project since 2013, but had never attended a center. Maria told her husband, "I am going to go. If I wait any longer, these children might die. We don't have the resources to help them." She took Lisbeth and her older brother to the center, where Lisbeth was diagnosed with intestinal worms and treated with medication and began gaining weight. Maria learned proper sanitation techniques to help avoid disease in the future. "Among all that I learned here, I learned how to pray," said Maria. "I had never done that before. But now I know how to pray and for that I am very thankful."
 
In addition to providing health services, the MAMA Project provides concrete floors in the homes of some families, which improves hygiene and health for the family. Visiting the villages in Honduras has helped Amanda realize the importance of access to care. “We take for granted the fact that when we get sick, we can easily get a doctor's appointment and go to the pharmacy to fill a prescription,” she explains. “Often times we complain if we have to wait for just one hour for our doctor, but these people will walk two hours to our brigades and then wait all day to be seen. We've learned that many want to do better for their communities and their families but just don't know how, so education is a key part of what we do. We're always teaching new leaders in the communities.”
 
Learn More 
 
If you are interested in serving on one of the MAMA Project medical teams, contact herman [at] mamaproject.org. Learn more about attending child survival training here. Visit the MAMA Project's website and Facebook page

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 September 2015 21:20 )