A new approach for tackling child hunger in Mali enables children to grow up strong, Action Against Hunger

Meet the villagers of Kourounan: The community health worker

 “I enjoy helping others...”

By Action Against Hunger

Jan 12 2017

Together with the innocent foundation, we are revolutionising the way malnourished children are diagnosed and treated, paving the way for health workers in Mali to reach all malnourished children, no matter where they live. Our  Healthy Kids series features some of the wonderful people from Kourounan in Mali. Find out how access to healthcare has transformed their lives.

Famakan Kiabou, a community health worker, was deployed to the village of Kourounan a year ago to assess, treat and refer children with pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and undernutrition. It’s the first time the village has had direct access to basic healthcare.

“I still remember my first week here in Kourounan, when a lady called Awa brought her little boy Khali to me,” Famakan explained. “Khali was listless and suffered from severe undernutrition. He was the first child to be enrolled in the new programme we launched with Action Against Hunger and the innocent foundation. I checked in on him every week and provided Awa with high energy ready-to-use therapeutic foods to feed him. With this simple treatment, children can quickly regain their health.”

Famakan Kiabou, the community health worker in Kourounan, checks the medical records of Samakoun, the little brother of Khali, pictured here. Famakoun and Khali share a special bond with Khali being the first child he cured from undernutrition in the community. B.Stevens/i-Images for Action Against Hunger

“Khali made a full recovery and to this day we share a very special bond. He was the first undernourished child I treated here in the village. I’m very fond of him.”

“Last year things were difficult. There’s no water and sometimes there wasn’t enough food to go around. Many families struggled to feed their children and many of them fell ill and needed treatment. Now the situation is better. We can prevent and treat disease early and parents can come to see me when their children are feeling unwell. Less children fall seriously ill now.”

Famakan Kiabou, the community health worker in Kourounan assesses Khali’s brother Samakoun for undernutrition. B.Stevens/i-Images for Action Against Hunger

“We must continue this vital work. And we must scale up the programme and reach many more children.”

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All images: B.Stevens/i-Images for Action Against Hunger