Bright and early one morning, I was at home getting ready for Maternity clinic, and I got a call.
The security guard at the clinic alerted me that they had let a lady in the gate who had a premature baby. The said it was two months early and was really little. I hurried to the clinic, not really sure what I would find or be able to do.
When I arrived, and met the mom, she said she carried the baby to full-term — and that she was already two months old.
She said she came to the clinic to try and get an IV for her baby, Roseberline. Kids weighing less than 3 kg or 6.6 lbs. aren’t able to get vaccinated).
When I undressed little Roseberline she looked like a miniature geriatric patient.
Her skin was very loose and wrinkled, her ribs were showing, and her hair was thin. Mom said that she was OK when she was born but she has gotten a little smaller. I was anxious to see what the scale would say.
The numbers were not encouraging at 1.58 kg or 3.57 lbs.
I called Rachel, our friend from Pen Lavi (one of the inpatient malnutrition centers we use) to see if she was back in Haiti yet. She was actually in the airport in Miami, on her way back! She said she would stop by the clinic when she landed in Port au Prince.
Mom said she breastfed her some, but admitted she mostly fed pudding to Roseberline (pudding is flour and water, or smashed saltine crackers and water) and some baby food. It was not enough to help her child grow.
When Rachel arrived she said, and latter confirmed, that Roseberline was the smallest full term baby that their inpatient center had ever had.
She started out doing well at Pen Lavi, but mom has been trying to come up with excuses to leave the center with her. She really doesn’t want to breast feed her.
She has gained some weight, but not enough to be healthy and do well at home on her own yet. They have been working hard to get her to stay. Please pray that her mom will do the right thing! We all want Roseberline to grow up to be a healthy and happy little girl!
Until No Child Dies,