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Lifesaving care for children at risk

At the end of February the Mpenda village headman in Mangochi District found an abandoned baby in the grounds of a church. The tiny baby boy was in a bad condition and needed help urgently. It is a traumatic experience for everyone involved when this happens as there are concerns for the child's welfare, how to get access to the right help quickly enough and worries for the parents too.

The headman’s family took the child to the chief of his village. The chief directed them to the local police where they were told to take the baby to Koche Community Hospital very close to the Open Arms Mangochi Infant Home. The little boy had been exposed to the weather, been bitten by mosquitoes at night and there were concerns for his health.

He was named Jack and admitted at the hospital immediately, staying there for two weeks getting medical treatment.

Tracking family members can be very complicated but when Jack was in hospital a man from a nearby village visited claiming that the child was his. He had been told that his wife had miscarried their baby and then he heard rumours that an abandoned baby had been found nearby which raised concerns. The police are working with him and his wife as well as some local witnesses to investigate the case.

In the meantime Jack has been discharged from hospital but continues to need round the clock care and support to keep his growth and development on track. In cases like these babies are monitored extremely closely as their health can be very fragile and can deteriorate rapidly. He was welcomed by the team in Mangochi at the start of March weighing a tiny 2.4kg at four weeks old.

Jack Caregiver Mirriam

The care staff will monitor Jack's progress closely. He has been placed with Marriam who will oversea his progress while at Open Arms. She will work in conjunction with the Koche hospital as needed for medical support. His formula milk will be adapted to make sure he gains that all important weight and grows well while he is in our care. 

As he regains his health, we will work with the Department of Social Welfare to make sure he has a family guardian to return to when he is back to full health. Bonding visits will be arranged in the infant home and our outreach team will organise visits to assess his family home when he is ready to return.

Tailored early years care like the support Jack is receiving can make all the difference to his longer term life outcome. Giving him a safe and secure environment to grow up in with the constant support from Marriam, will speed up his recovery, provide a smooth transition home and means that he can look forward to a future where he can achieve his full potential. For now the team will nurture his changing needs to make sure that he gets fit and well and avoids any preventable problems that could impact his future.

We can only do this thanks to your support. Sponsorship, regular donations and one off gifts all go such a long way in Malawi making sure that children like Jack have access to the support they need to survive a traumatic start to life build strong foundations for their development to enable them to move home successfully for an independent future.

If you'd like to find out more the children we support and read about some of the success stories your support is making possible read our news section which is updated regularly or follow us on social media.

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