Alick learns to walk again

Alick learns to walk again

Ivy’s son, Alick, had been ill for two years. During this time, Ivy tried traditional medicine but to no avail. She thought that her son was bewitched, but clinical examinations showed that he was suffering from severe malnutrition.

Thanks to a special highly nutritious food, supplied by Concern, Alick is now back on his feet. Ivy had been abandoned by her husband after he married another woman. In order to feed her children, she started a firewood business.

“There are no trees in our area, so it was a difficult business. But I had to forage for pieces of wood as this was the only business which does not need any capital,” she said.

Days without meals

On a good day, Ivy could earn 100 Malawi Kwachas (worth less than one euro). With this, she would buy food for her two children. Most days, she’d fail to even gather enough firewood to sell. This meant a day without a meal.

Alick’s health

Going without food caused Alick to become ill. His body was swelling and he had continuous diarrhoea attacks, which made him weak. Eventually, Alick, who is four years old, became so weak that he stopped walking.

“I almost gave up on Alick” she said. “He didn’t look like a human anymore. He couldn’t even keep his head upright and I had to tie him at my back with a cloth so that I could protect his neck,” she said.

No chance

Alick’s condition was critical. The Dwambazi Health Centre admitted him into their nutritional rehabilitation unit. Alick was put under treatment with a strict diet of ready-to-use therapeutic food, supplied by Concern Worldwide. Read more about ready-to-use food here.

James Phiri, a volunteer at the health centre said “No one gave this child a chance. When we admitted him he was weighing 8.6kg but now he is at 9.3kg”.

Learning to walk again

After two weeks of intensive feeding, Alick regained his health and made an attempt to walk again. “At first he didn’t make it, but I kept on encouraging him to try,” said Phiri. A few days latter, Alick astonished everyone by walking on his own. His health is now improving and the swelling is subsidising.

According to Phiri, Alick could soon be on his way home.

Concern is currently supporting the Nkhotakota district health office by providing ready-to-use-food to treat malnutrition in the district.