Name: Alefa Stone
Alefa is three years old and lives in Makhundi village with her mother, father, and one older sibling. Alefa’s father works planting maize (1/2 acre plot) and doing part time work. They ran out of food six months before the harvest and have had very little to eat since then. In the past they have only planted maize, but this upcoming harvest season they will also be planting soy. Alefa’s mother, Moleen, also works in the fields when she can. She suffers from heart problems, which makes both working and walking the six hours to get to the health center for Outpatience Treatment Program difficult. She has swelling in her legs and gets out of breath quickly. She is currently five months pregnant with their next child.
Alefa’s has three other siblings, ages 12, 9, and 7. The 12-year-old has mental illness and often disappears for months at a time. According to his father, he sometimes goes to his grandmother’s house but they cannot always find him. When the child does return home, he either runs around talking to himself for days at a time or sleeps for several days on end. They have taken him to a traditional healer but he has not improved. The 9-year-old lives with Alefa’s sister up north and the 7-year-old is at home. While he is not suffering from severe acute malnutrition, he is significantly underweight for his age and his height is stunted.
Alefa had to be hospitalized for severe anemia and malnutrition. After receiving blood transfusions, medication, and RUTF, she was discharged home after after staying in the hospital close to two weeks. We met with her father and have encouraged the him to plant soy along with his maize this year. Additionally, we have educated him on the importance of giving children food that contains protein. We will continue to follow up with her family and see what we can do to help Alefa and her mentally ill brother.