07/05/17
Malnutrition and the Vulnerable



Prices have doubled with the ailing Nigerian economy ( man made) with inevitably a deeper pinch being felt at the bottom of the society. Garri, processed cassava has seen a dramatic rise in the creeks, the staple for most people. Food insecurity is now very real.

This young lad presented with protein deficiency malnutrition, Kwashiorkor. Note the classic swollen puffy legs and extremities , due to low protein and fluid accumulation.  With protein rich diet and supplements he will go on to a full recovery.

The other lad is one of many in the community cast adrift by parents, undernourished and unkempt. Refusing food to a child can be a punishment , but also a sign of a family struggling.
We have been offering a winning formulary of colouring, drawing, food and a quiet retreat at the mission house for those children who come by. This lad literally coloured until he dropped, fed and watered. To date it has been daily but ad hoc.

A nice vignette to be sure, but underlying this there is a disturbing picture of a lot of vulnerable children. Probing deeper we have found disturbing evidence of sexual abuse with children as young as eight selling themselves for sex merely to get food to eat. Some are picked out as vulnerable , groomed with regular meals by older men and then entrapped to repay with sex, a truly horrifying situation.

We are now looking to set up a sanctuary for these children with feeding and support so they have somewhere to come and remain safe . The project is in its early stages but we are prioritising this  as the social fabric is fragile and there is little hope of resolution.

We will be communicating more on this as it is an unexpected direction we have to act on , but there is an imperative to do something for these children. Please support us if you can.