Child survives hunger in DRC

Nico: The story of survival

Thanks to help from our supporters, we saved 42,000 young lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo during 2012.

By Elisabeth Anderson Rapport

Jan 29 2013

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.

One month of life-saving treatment costs just £42.00.

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.