For many people living in New Zealand the horrors of drought and malnutrition can be hard to imagine. However, for healthcare workers like Cecelia in Northern Kenya these are the harsh realities they must face every day.
With worsening drought and more and more children facing the the dangers of hunger and starvation, Cecelia and her team are working tirelessly to save vulnerable lives.
"Today at the health center there are a lot of mothers with their children. Because of the prolonged drought there is a lot of sickness here, so they have come to the clinic to find medication. When we treat the sick children we can see they’re malnourished. The mothers are weak, the children are malnourished, the malnutrition is high." - Cecelia, Healthcare worker Turkana, Kenya
In Turkana, Kenya where Cecelia is working, livestock is the lifeblood of the local community. Families in this area are farmers with animals which they rely on for food and for income. However sadly more than 70% of the community's animals have starved or died because of lack of water due to this year's drought. For families reliant on their animals this means no money and no food.
"The children need protein when they are growing. They get their protein from these animals. So if the animals are weak and dying, the children become malnourished also. It’s that interrelationship."
"We need supplementary food for the children. Because of the drought the area is too dry. You can’t farm, the animals are weak. So families need that supplementary food at least to make these children stable."
Cecelia continues to work saving young lives in Turkana. Without the work of healthcare workers like her on the front line, many children would simply die. Sadly, the scale of the need in this area is huge and despite Cecelia and her team's best efforts, they simply can not save every child's life on their own.
ChildFund is standing with the heroes like Cecelia to help protect the most vulnerable. With the help of caring Kiwis we are providing emergency food aid to young children to help keep them alive and to bring them back from the brink of starvation. It costs as little as $12 to help provide emergency food aid to a child for 6 months.
The UN has called the food crisis sweeping East Africa the worst humanitarian crisis they have ever seen. Whether your a hero like Cecelia facing the harsh realities of hunger and drought first hand, or a every day Kiwi wanting to get involved, we can all play our part in ensuring that children and families get the food they need to survive.
If you'd like to provide emergency food aid to children suffering in Turkana, please donate now. As little as $12 can help save a child's life.