Thanks to the generous support from Star Wars: Force for Change in 2015, UNICEF will be able to help thousands of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Haiti, Uganda, and Burkina Faso. To date, over 105,000 ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) packages have been distributed in Haiti to children with SAM.
Check out the incredible stories from UNICEF on the impact of Star Wars: Force for Change and how the Force for Change community continues to positively contribute to the reduction of child mortality, one of UNICEF’s primary goals.
Darline, 6 months old, Haiti
Since birth, Darline had a low birth weight. Her mother was only able to nurse her for 15 days, and was unable to afford infant formula for her baby. As a result, Darline experienced gradual weight loss and finally, undernutrition.
Darline was admitted to the inpatient malnutrition unit in Port au Prince on November 19, 2015, weighing just 7 pounds, 4 ounces. This is the weight of a healthy newborn baby, but Darline was 6 months old. She arrived at the pediatric unit and was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition. Darline’s mother was desperately worried for her daughter.
UNICEF immediately started SAM treatment with RUTF, a peanut paste that contains medicine and enough micronutrients to help Darline gradually heal and gain energy. Almost 3 weeks after her admission, Darline’s weight had increased to 8 pounds, 13 ounces. While still malnourished, Darline is on track to recover thanks to the support of medical staff and RUTF provided by UNICEF. Soon, Darline will be discharged to the outpatient community-based program, where she will continue receiving RUTF. A full course of treatment is 150 RUTF packets and takes 2-3 months to complete.
Thanks to the funding of Star Wars: Force for Change, Darline should be fully recovered in 3 months.
Jovens, 22 months old, Haiti
In November of 2015, Jovens was admitted to UNICEF’s Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) program in Haiti. Jovens was found by a community health worker during an active screening day in Cite l’Eternel in Martissant, a marginalized community in the capital Port au Prince. His mother had recently moved to the area and was unaware of the CMAM program, which provides critical, lifesaving support for children with SAM.
When he was brought to the health center, Jovens immediately received an RUTF packet. While Jovens’ malnutrition was causing a loss of appetite, he managed to eat the entire packet before the end of the consultation! Since November, Jovens has come to the health center every week and has already received 21 RUTF treatments. Thanks to funds made possible by Star Wars: Force for Change, Jovens is on his way to a complete recovery.