Home Gardens Make A Life and Death Difference

Malnutrition Child MortalityAugust 15, 2011 - - There is a young girl named Asly who lives in the community of Altamira, one of the communities that Medicines for Humanity serves through our health project in Barahona, Dominican Republic. When she was 4, one of the Barahona Health Promoters named Felicita, recognized signs of malnourishment and referred Asly to our Nutrition program there. She was evaluated by the doctor and nurse who determined that she was suffering from severe malnutrition. Asly’s family received counseling about nutrition and support to start a home garden in their back yard. There were some set backs still. Animals broke in and destroyed what they have planted, but her mom was resilient and started over again. Among the vegetables they learned to grow were green beans. When I went to visit Altamira, the health promoter told me this story and took me to Asly’s home. When we arrived, she was eating a full meal that her mom had prepared for her: rice, chicken and the green beans from the garden. Asly has moved from severe to mild undernourishment. She will continue to be evaluated and monitored until she is completely stabilized. Hundreds of children like Asly have been stabilized by our Nutrition project in Barahona. Home gardens are very instrumental in the recovery and stabilization of children.

This story was reported by MFH Program Manager, Yatzaira Marcano.

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