Medical Missionaries’ Medika Mamba Program, which began in 2008, works to fight acute childhood malnutrition in the communities we serve in Haiti by providing a nutritional supplement that can restore the health of malnourished children over a course of 4 to 6 weeks.
These supplements are easy to use and inexpensive (it only costs $100 to restore the health of a child over the course of their enrollment) and can help children thrive during the early years of their development.
Why is this program critically important? Severe malnutrition is a major cause of childhood deaths in Haiti. According to Meds & Food for Kids (the producer of Medika Mamba), 1 in 5 children in Haiti are malnourished, and 1 in 14 will die before reaching the age of 5. Many children in Haiti have only one meal each day, some less. The effects of chronic and acute malnutrition are life-long, not only making children more susceptible to contracting diseases and increasing the probability of childhood death, but also resulting in reduced physical and mental development for a person’s entire life.
In the Thomassique area we serve, malnourished children are identified at the Clinic, during mobile clinics or home visits. Once children are enrolled in the program, their progress is evaluated each week.
Wilner Ossè, the Assistant Director for the Medika Mamba Program, works closely with both the Clinic staff and the families of malnourished children. He also attends mobile clinics in the villages every week in order to screen children for malnutrition and provide health education for families awaiting consultation.
Making home visits provides a crucial opportunity to not only check on patients’ progress but also to evaluate the home for safety, utilization of a safe water treatment system, good sanitation, and food availability. Wilner conducts all the home visits for patients living in town, and assigns home visits to our Community Health Workers in their respective remote villages.
Medical Missionaries’ Medika Mamba Program, along with our Maternal and Infant Care Program, Vaccination Program, and School Lunch Program, all work towards improving the well-being of Haiti’s next generations and giving them the possibility of a healthier and brighter future.