“It is bad dehydration, there is not enough fluid in the veins. They get sores in their mouths. Some cannot move. Children suffer immensely, can you imagine what it must feel like?” says Dr Mary Okumu, ForAfrika’s technical director who has over 30 years’ experience in child and maternal health.
Fortunately for João, ForAfrika delivers therapeutic milk, food, and MannaPak Fortified Rice to the Catumbela clinic where he was immediately admitted and put onto a medical feeding routine.
A few weeks later, João was discharged, his peeling skin completely healed. His grandmother was given take-home portions of therapeutic food, including MannaPak Fortified Rice.
“Now that we have the help of the rice, when we can't get any other food, we all eat rice, along with João,” says Tereza.
But, while Tereza expresses her gratitude, Dionisa admits she is worried sick about where the next meals will come from. Being away from her fields and the persistent drought means that she has not been able to harvest much produce.
She does not want to return to the clinic in Catumbela again.