Outpatient Treatment Program
Nathenje , Malawi
Name: Malita and Matilida Mavutu (twins)
Mother’s Name: Eliza Chilada
Age: 11 months
Twins Malita and Matilida Mavutu are 11 months old. Though small for their age, they are happy and playful. Their mother, Eliza, has four other children at home, the oldest being 12 years old. Eliza’s husband left her when the twins were born, saying that twins were just too much for him to handle. Therefore, she gave the girls the name “Mavutu” which means “problem” in Chichewa (local language). Due to her own lack of nutrition, Eliza has difficulty producing enough breastmilk. With the twins, her breastfeeding problems were amplified and both of the girls ended up with severe acute malnutrition at just a few months old. They started attending Nathenje Outpatient Treatment Program (OTP) where the twins receive chiponde (RUTF peanut butter). Eliza says that without the chiponde, her twins would not be alive today.
In order to get to Nathenje, Eliza must walk 6 hours.. The twins’ family is facing a rough time this upcoming rainy season; they ran out of food from their harvest two months ago and have been living off of whatever food Eliza’s uncle could spare them. The twins are growing well on the chiponde but are still underweight. Eliza reports that her fourth child also suffers from symptoms of severe acute malnutrition including edema and loss of appetite, but since she is unable to carry three children with her on the six hour walk to Nathenje OTP she only brings the twins.