Nico: The Story of One Child’s Survival in D.R. Congo
Nico, a young boy from a small village in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was too weak to walk and drifted in and out of consciousness when his mother Mboyito Masola rushed him to the nearest hospital to be treated for severe acute malnutrition.
After six weeks of treatment, Nico was still unable to move and Mboyito feared the worst, “I told the doctor to be honest with me if he thought Nico would die,” she said.
Nico was then referred to a special unit in the hospital supported by Action Against Hunger, where he received treatment via a daily regimen of ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs). These calorie-packed, protein powerhouse foods require no refrigeration, no clean water, have long shelf lives, and can be eaten directly from the packet.
Mboyito beamed as she recalled his fast recovery following RUTF treatment, “He opened his eyes, and he started to eat,” she explained, “His health improved rapidly.”
Nico was soon able to talk, and after he was released from the hospital he went back to school and even started playing soccer with his friends.
“If the hospital had not been there, he would have died,” Mboyito said gratefully.
Mboyito continues to support her community and our work by insisting that other mothers use the medical center when their children are sick, believing that, “Congo can develop if we have hospitals like the one where Nico was treated.”
This brave family demonstrates that malnutrition is highly treatable. Your support makes it possible. Are you ready to take action against hunger?
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Facts about Hunger
925 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition around the world.
Malnutrition affects 32.5% of children in developing countries.
1 out of every 6 infants are born with low birth weight due to undernutrition among pregnant women in developing countries.
1 out of every 3 people in developing countries are affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Hunger is number one on the list of the world's top 10 health risks. It kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.