Breaking the Cycle of Hunger: Lomuria's Story

Action Against Hunger responds when disaster hits

Lomuria is a 16 month-old girl from Karamoja, Uganda. Her parents, Mogole Maria and Lotonkul John, used to tend cattle, which provided the family with a steady source of milk, meat, and income.

But last July, they were left destitute after their village was raided and all 300 of the community’s cattle stolen. To make ends meet, Maria started collecting, chopping, and burning firewood to sell as charcoal at the local market. But three days of backbreaking work yielded less than $2.50—not enough to provide nutritious meals for the whole family.

Although Maria and John coped as best they could, providing the family with one meal a day—either porridge for breakfast or beans for dinner—Lomuria couldn’t get the vital nutrients she needed to thrive.

On the brink of starvation, weakened by malaria and pneumonia, and weighing only 14 pounds, Lomuria was admitted in January into an Action Against Hunger Stabilization Center where she underwent two weeks of intensive therapeutic treatment before being sent home for the remaining four weeks of therapeutic outpatient care.

Thanks to Action Against Hunger's immediate intervention, she survived.

Once at home, Lomuria received bi-weekly examinations by our Clinical Officer and continued her treatment with ready-to-use therapeutic foods that have nursed her back to health. After six weeks in our care, she has surpassed her target weight.

But merely treating the symptoms of malnutrition is not sufficient. Action Against Hunger is launching a new program in Lomuria’s region to provide families with lasting solutions to hunger by addressing the root causes of malnutrition: disease, poor sanitation and hygiene, unsafe water, and food insecurity.

We’re giving seeds to local farmers and training them in the best agricultural techniques, teaching drip irrigation practices to maximize scarce water resources, and helping generate income well into the future. And during trips to local health centers, mothers will soon be able to visit our demonstration gardens and learn how to add essential micronutrients to their diets.

Our comprehensive approach to tackling the underlying causes of malnutrition helps ensure that families like Lomuria’s will have the tools they need to regain self-sufficiency for the long term.