Friday, July 06, 2007

Broth, no bread – A patient encounter

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do
So she gave them some broth without any bread
And kissed them all quickly and put them to bed.


“Do you have food in the house?” I asked.

“No,” the gogo replied.

This explained the child’s malnutrition, which was moderate (defined as less than 80% of expected weight for height).

“Do you have support?”

“Yes, but there are many children in the house.”

“How many?”



“Sometimes seventeen.”

With a denominator of seventeen, the numerator has to be a heck of a lot of food.

There are few households here in Swaziland with a heck of a lot of food, and it is a common practice to water down maize meal and serve it as a porridge to children.

After initiating the child on ARVs and discussing possible solutions to the food shortage (alas, there were few), we gave the gogo a large bag of World Food Program corn-soy blend.

Large bag of CSB/17 = something.

Something is better than nothing.

Something. (Corn-soy blend.)



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