Rough Start to Life

Their legs are like sticks, curled up in the fetal position to protect themselves from the harshness of life. They stare at you with big eyes, clearly aching from the pain of acute suffering from malnutrition. You can see it clearly, this is not a painless existence. I wonder how any of them can truly survive such a rough start to life.

Most of the cases are due to lack of protein, causing children to swell and bloat. Pressing your thumb lightly on the skin creates an indentation with your fingerprint remaining. The most common cause of this is lack of spacing between children. In one of the cases I saw, the older baby was suffering badly, where the younger baby appeared quite healthy. With better spacing of children many of the cases of severe malnutrition would be prevented.

I couldn’t help but fall in love with these twins.

Visiting our therapeutic feeding center for severely malnourished children gave me a reminder of the extremes in life. I can’t help see these babies in their suffering and not think of sweet Makenna, my new born niece. I consider what a privileged life she has without having any say in the matter. How ones lot in life defines them from the start. It is hard to see the equity or justice in the world.

Seeing these babies makes you wonder how a child can rebound from such suffering. And yet, the miracles of life are clear even in a place of such desolation. Posted on the wall are before and after pictures that just seem implausible. To see pictures of children that are little more than skin and bones be transformed into healthy looking babies is incredible. I guess it just goes to show what we are capable of surviving.


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