Sister Elizabeth runs the Nutritional Recovery Unit in Nsipe, Malawi. The only Nutrition Unit in the area.
“We see on average around 20 cases of severe malnutrition in children a month,” Sister Elizabeth told us. “There is a strong link between malnutrition and other illnesses. Children pick up infections and that worsens their body’s ability to absorb nutrients. But then malnutrition also weakens their immunity and makes them prone to infections. It is a reinforcing cycle. Amoxicillin is a really important drug for us, to allow us to treat those infections and break the pattern.”
Three-month-old Melifa arrived at the unit with a nasty cough. Sister Elizabeth diagnosed severe acute malnutrition and admitted her for a week. “We built the baby up with F-100 (a therapeutic milk for nutritional recovery) and… we were able to treat her with an amoxicillin suspension [from IHP]. It is vital for us to have this antibiotic in syrup form so we can treat babies.”