Khalil , a seven-month-old baby getting stronger

/ / Human interest stories

Al Kufra is a district of the south-east of Libya with three municipalities including Al Jawf, Tazerbou and Rebyana gathering around 70,000 inhabitants. The population of Al Kufra has limited access to services, particularly health care, due to the remote geographic location of the region, the lack of skilled health personnel as well as the limited medical supplies and equipment even in main cities.

Khalil is a seven-month-old baby who was born in the Al Kufra Al Jadida area to a modest family with scarce financial resources. Since his birth, Khalil has been suffering from several health problems including malnutrition, respiratory problems and frequent urinary tract infections. This has added a heavy burden on his mother Ahlam who works hard to fulfill the daily needs of her children. The difficulties that she faces to access proper healthcare for her child were further deepened with the remoteness of the Al Kufra Al Jadida area that is located far from the main city of the Al Kufra region and the lack of transportation services.

During one of their field visits to the Alkufra Aljadida neighborhood, the Première Urgence Internationale’s (PUI) community health workers visited Ahlam and her child at their home where they noticed Khalil’s low body weight and stunting. He weighed only 5 kilograms at the age of seven months which is below the lower thresholds of growth curves. Thus, Khalil was referred by the community health workers to Première Urgence Internationale’s (PUI) Mobile Health Team for a medical consultation. After the medical investigations, it was revealed that the baby was suffering from severe acute malnutrition with complications requiring specialized healthcare and admission to the hospital. The Première Urgence Internationale Mobile Health Team made all the necessary preparations and transported Khalil to the main hospital of the city in order to help him receive the necessary renutrition to correct organ failure and resume growth.  Meanwhile, the community health workers conducted awareness sessions on infant and young child feeding for Ahlam in order to provide her with additional knowledge to empower her to best care for her son’s nutritional needs.

The baby’s situation has now improved and Ahlam has updated that “Khalil is now in good health and his life was saved! This made a huge difference in my life”. Indeed, every person should have proper access to quality healthcare. This is why, with support of the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and the Swiss Development and Cooperation Confederation, Première Urgence Internationale continues to strive to provide quality healthcare for people in need, especially in remote areas of Libya where the healthcare services are limited.