For months, Amelia Armando, 25, felt helpless as she watched her one-year-old daughter lose instead of gain weight and how her motor skills development stagnated due to the effects of acute malnutrition.
“It was a scary situation because my daughter was just losing weight and I didn't know what to do to save her,” says Amelia, a survivor from Cyclone Idai that struck Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi in March 2019.
Amelia's family is made up of five members, including her unemployed husband. They live in a small tent house in Buzi district, Mozambique after their residence was destroyed by the cyclone.
Although Amelia knew something was wrong with Rosinha, she didn't know what to do until a World Vision health technician examined her. "She said my daughter was malnourished and should be taken to the hospital," recalls Amelia.
As part of a Health and Nutrition project sponsored by Taiwan to support the survivors of Cyclone Idai, World Vision staff helped Amelia taking her child to the hospital where she underwent a series of examinations and then received food supplements.
The same project also organizes a series of meetings with mothers called the “Cooking Show” in which they learn new techniques of preparing enriched food to feed their children.
Amelia attended these meetings and trainings where she learned to make porridge mixed with peanuts, cabbage or moringa. “Now I can see a lot of improvement in the child. Before she couldn't even walk. Now, she is very well and walks and plays without any problem,” says Amelia smiling.
Although Rosinha recovered, Amelia is still concerned. "It is very difficult to have food because everything was dragged away by cyclone Idai and floods. In order to be able to buy peanuts and other foodstuffs I depend on the odd jobs I have," she explains.
More than 25,000 People were reached by Health and Nutrition services, including around 7,000 children under age 5 who were screened for malnutrition.
Although the results are encouraging, more children and their families living in extreme poverty, especially in this period of severe drought, are in urgent need of help.