Friday, May 14, 2010

4 + 1 = 5

In the last few weeks, we've seen a big turnover in the safe home.

Lots of critically ill and malnourished babies recovered here at TTL from all sorts of problems and ailments and nutritional deficits, and became healthy enough to return home, including Seithati, Mathapelo and Thapelo.

Sending babies home is our greatest record of triumph, and a low number of babies here isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Still, while our outreach initiatives and referral systems are extensive, we know there are always sick and malnourished kids to find.

Just this morning I was thinking, "Wow. We only have four babies in the safe home."

Then, this afternoon, the tide turned, as it always does, and our number increased again, with little Lipuo, a 10-month-old girl from the St. Theresa area of Thaba Tseka.

Our Thaba Tseka outreach team just arrived with her. She's super cute, but super small.

Her bukana tells her story:

She was born in July to an HIV-positive mother, making her what they call an "exposed baby."

Good news is her mother had PMTCT help, and in February, when Lipuo's DNA PCR test for HIV came back negative, she weighed 6 kg and was "well appearing."

Then in April, she weighed 5.7 kg. She'd lost weight.

On May 5, she was vomiting, coughing, had a fever and oral thrush.

Today, after the bo m'e gave her a bath, they weighed her themselves: The scale read 4.5 kg. She seems like she has recovered from her illnesses, but she's still losing weight rapidly.

I'm hoping a good feeding schedule and some love and attention will do wonders for Lipuo, and that soon enough, she'll be another one of our happy babies well enough to go home.

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