The Malawi Social Welfare Officers refer children and babies to Open Arms Infant Homes in Mangochi and Blantyre when their family circumstances change and they have nowhere else to go. It can be a scary and difficult time for families and for babies a crucial period of growth and development as they are so young. It’s important to act fast so that the impact can be minimised and the families can get the support they need.
By supporting Open Arms Malawi, you help provide stability, shelter and nourishment for these vulnerable children. This vital intervention means they can grow up healthy and be supported in returning to their families when they are fit and well.
Shukuran - which means ‘thank you’ in Arabic - is a child who needed very close care to support his nutrition and growth. He was born in March 2020 and arrived at Open Arms just over a month later, as his mother sadly passed away. His grandmothers travelled to Mozambique, where the mother had been staying, to collect Shukuran and bring him home. He was referred to Open Arms Infant Homes for urgent care as he was severely malnourished.
An update from Shukuran's carers
"From April to August 2020 Shukuran spent one or two weeks each month in hospital.
He began showing signs of malnutrition so in September 2020 he joined the hospital's programme to receive a peanut based food supplement to improve his nutrition. This programme is called Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTP) and it is operated by the government to prevent malnutrition."
From September 2020 to January 2021, Shukuran was getting this care from Koche Community Hospital because it is very close to the Mangochi Infant Home. From January 2021, he was transferred to Mangochi Central Hospital because at Koche Hospital the peanut supplement for infants had become scarce.
All the children on this programme have a medical check up every Tuesday. Shukuran began showing signs of improvement and by April 2021 was so well he no longer needed the supplement.”
Step by step...
Shukuran is now able to crawl, he can eat by himself, and he understands his name when called.
He is very proud of the fact that he can now enjoy eating solid food with his peers and he stands up confidently when supported. Shukuran can even walk with the support of the wall or objects. Now his weight is 8 kilograms and he is growing consistently.
His grandmother visits him regularly and she has been watching her grandson develop into a beautiful little boy. She told the team that "without Open Arms Shukuran could have died, comparing what was happening in Mozambique to Shukuran's condition now."
Open Arms will care for Shukuran until he is able to move back to live successfully with his family. He is a healthy and happy child and we look forward to working with his extended family to support them in taking on his care.
If you would like to help give a child like Shukuran the stability and care they need, please donate today.
Your support helps children like Shukuran get through a difficult start in life, and gives them the opportunity to grow up safe, happy and healthy. Please consider making a donation today so we can help more children who need your help. Thank you.