St. Damien’s Malnutrition Program started two years ago, in order to combat Haiti’s alarmingly high rate of malnutrition (17,500 children under the age of 5 were reported to be acutely malnourished before the quake). The program runs for 6 weeks, and provides patients with food packages consiting of a combination of F100 (a dried high-energy milk that is fortified with a mix of vitamins and minerals that are designed to counter the specific biochemical effects of malnutrition in children) and Plumpy’Nut (a combination of peanut paste, vegetable oil, powdered milk, powdered sugar, vitamins, and minerals). Children are followed through weekly consultations to monitor progress. HIV tests are offered to those suspected for being at risk for HIV, about a quarter of program participants.
In August, the program treated 88 children. Manissa, the girl in the photo above, came to St. Damien’s from one of the surrounding tent camps. Her home was destroyed in the earthquake.