Keeping babies alive

Not all babies make it to their next birthday, but we can change that.

Type: Story

Keeping babies alive

Bernadette wants her Baby Joel to become a policeman someday.

Today, however, Baby Joel has a more urgent concern: Will he make it to tomorrow?

Police work requires great physical and mental strength, something Baby Joel is lacking these days. At age one, Baby Joel is just too thin. He is slow and sickly.

Baby Joel is severely malnourished, which means he is 10 times more at risk of dying.

Bernadette and Baby Joel live in a makeshift home within a community of informal settlers in Navotas. They have poor access to clean water and nutritious food.

Many of Baby Joel’s playmates have fallen ill, mostly due to diarrhea. Will he be next?

Save the Children visited their community earlier this year, on a mission to identify and treat malnourished babies.

Keeping babies alive

Fighting malnutrition!

Malnutrition kills, so we need to act fast.

Since the start of our Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) program in March 2016, we have treated 117 moderately malnourished babies in Navotas. They’re now enrolled in a supplementary feeding program to ensure their steady progress.

CMAM trains parents on nutrition and childcare. We also teach Barangay Health Workers on how to properly address child malnutrition.

Our CMAM program is the first of its kind in the National Capital Region. And we want to replicate our efforts across the Philippines.

At present, we’re treating 5 severely malnourished babies, including Baby Joel. We’re providing them Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, which is specially formulated for a child’s speedy recovery from severe malnutrition.

Without such interventions, Baby Joel and his friends might not make it to their next birthday.

Keeping babies alive

Joyous, hopeful

Bernadette is grateful not only for the Barangay Health Workers and Save the Children staff who are helping Baby Joel fight malnutrition, but also for the lessons she has learned so far.

At only 18 years old, Bernadette has surpassed several challenges. Her biggest fight now is to keep Baby Joel alive.

“I hope Baby Joel can finish his studies. I want him to become a cop,” says Bernadette. “As for me, I’d also like to go back to school someday. I want to be a teacher.”

Every Friday, also dubbed as CMAM day, Baby Joel’s height and weight are measured. All babies in the program are regularly monitored, making sure that no baby slips back into malnutrition.

These babies are alive today because of supporters like you. Thanks to your generous gift, we’re able to provide technical support for barangay health centers, empowering them to deliver life-saving healthcare among families.

Thanks to you, we’re giving babies like Baby Joel a better shot at life.

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About Save the Children Philippines

Save the Children Philippines has been working hard every day to give Filipino children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for and with children to positively transform their lives and the future we share.

DSWD License No.: DSWD-SB-L-00008-2024
Coverage: Regions I, II, III, IV-A, IV-MIMAROPA, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, CARAGA, CAR, and NCR
Period: February 16, 2024 – February 17, 2027

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