Saving Infants through Nutrition Care
Throughout Kenya, AMPATH supports new mothers to breastfeed their babies and give them the best nutrition possible to build a healthy future. Moms are encouraged and supported to breastfeed their infant exclusively for 6 months, and continue for 24 months or more along with complimentary food. Mentor mothers are available to new moms to provide encouraging support on the worth and success of exclusive breastfeeding when moms are able.
Unfortunately, breastfeeding is not always an option. In some cases, such as maternal death or severe health conditions, babies may require alternative food options, such as infant formula. With support from Abbott, AMPATH is providing life-saving formula to infants who are unable to breastfeed. Nutrition assessments are conducted to choose the best candidates, looking at various factors including low weight gain, lactose intolerance, and health conditions of the mother.
So far, AMPATH has supported 91 infants at 14 facilities. One of those infants is James, a bouncing baby boy born on August 1st 2016, weighing 7.7 pounds (3.5kg). Despite the joy of his healthy birth, his mother Esther was very sick and unable to produce adequate breastmilk. James started receiving cow’s milk on the second day, but 6 weeks later was underweight for his height. Esther brought him to the Maternal & Child Health clinic at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, where, after an assessment the clinical team started him on formula and administered the necessary vaccines. James now has a healthy weight of 22 pounds (10.3kg) at 7 months old, and his future is bright.