Baby at the Nutrition Center

Josiane’s story

October 5, 2013 | Steve Fredlund

During 2010 through 2011, the people of East Central MN helped fund a Nutrition Project which included education, training, and the enhancement of a Nutrition Center in Kivuruga. We visited this center in 2011 and had a chance to meet several of the 30 children in the most desperate stages of malnutrition. We even had a chance to serve them a meal. On our most recent trip in August, we visited the Center again and found out that all 30 of those children survived; their families are involved in an agricultural cooperative to continue to improve their health.

On this last trip we also met Josiane Twizerimana who, when her mother began attending health sessions established by World Vision, had just been identified as having a severe case of malnutrition. On our visit we watched as the staff measured and weighed Josiane; at 11 months old she weighted 4.7 kilograms—just a little over 10 pounds. The World Health Organization child growth standard is 8.7 kilograms, about 19 pounds. Clearly, it was time to intervene with Josiane.

Josiane at Nutrition Center

Josiane at the Nutrition Center

On our visit we asked that we be kept informed of her progress as they began to take the next steps. This past Friday we received an update from Kivuruga. The following is the update…


Josiane is daughter of Gakuru Rose Mary resident of Kivuruga sector, Gasiza cell, she was born in October 2012. Gakuru Rose Mary is mother of two children and Josiane is second born. The woman got first pregnant when she was 21 and second pregnant when she was 24 years old. She lives with her only father and she is used to go and work for money as house girl. Late in July she was identified by health workers and she was registered to attend PDH sessions. Josiane has severe malnutrition and the measurement shows that she weighs 4.7kg with 11 months of age.  She measures 61cm high.

What is already being done?

After the visit of OR we have been advised to closely follow up this child and on Thursday 8th August 2013 the lady was taken to health center for HIV test together with her children, all of them were found negative. The ADP used a small amount of money to buy food for immediate intervention since during the visit we have found the family was without food during the last two days.

The family received clothes given by the visitors. On Friday we have contacted Bushoka health center to negotiate transfer so that the child is transferred to Nemba hospital for further treatment. The transfer was signed on 10th August 2013 and the child was immediately transferred to Nemba hospital.

Josiane has been admitted and she is expected to spend two weeks in Nemba hospital for rehabilitation. She was put under therapeutic nutrition appropriate to children with severe malnutrition. Fortunately the child does not present any other disease apart from this. On 14th August the ADP team visited the child, we started seeing an improvement because she shifted from 4.7kg t0 5.5kg after two days under treatment as testified by Gratien in charge of nutrition service in the hospital.

The hospital will continue to monitor her for three months after leaving the hospital, with nutritionist at the health center regularly checking her weight. Her mother will continue to receive support on how to care for her and will visit the hospital twice a month with her for check-ups.

Current Situation

Twizerimana josiane left the hospital on 23rd September 2013 when she completed her therapeutic nutrition rehabilitation and her stunting regulated as reported by the Hospital. She shifted from 4.7 kgs to 7.7kgs. Her mother is today happy to see her daughter in a good health status and testified that with health education on nutrition received at the hospital, she will take care of her daughter. The ADP in partnership with the health center will continue to assist the family and other children through Health and nutrition program. Also she was advised to join cooperative of mothers in her community which will be involved in economic activities in the coming years.

Thank you people of East Central Minnesota for your compassion. Josiane is just one of many children whose lives you are changing because of your generosity.