Oumar’s life was on the line when his mother, Mariama, rushed him to a Save the Children-supported hospital in rural Niger. His mother Mariama grew increasingly concerned for her baby boy. A terrible drought killed their crops, leaving them with almost nothing to eat. Then, he got dangerously ill from drinking dirty water. He wasted away to skin and bones.
“Two weeks ago he started being sick with vomiting and diarrhea. Before he got sick he was a normal weight – not too fat, not too skinny, but just right. Oumar is sick all the time now and it breaks my heart. I’m always worried about him and I’m afraid that he might not make it,” said Mariama. “I love my son and we are doing our best for him, but he still got sick.”
The doctors and nurses did whatever it took to make sure he would survive.
“It's a delicate balance. Oumar’s a special case and he’s very fragile,” said one of his dedicated caregivers, Nurse Salisou. “We check the babies’ vital signs regularly so we can adjust the course of treatment, but in cases like Oumar’s we are even more vigilant.”
He received medicine to treat his fever and stomach infection. Then, his appetite came back and he delighted in eating his specially formulated peanut-paste – designed to give him all the nutrients he needs.
Now on the road to recovery, Oumar can focus on being a kid again. “Oumar's personality is joyful. He’s usually very friendly and smiling. He makes the rounds at his village, visiting his friends and playmates – crawling around like a little chief,” said Mariama. “Oumar likes to play with sand with a little with the older kids,” said Mariama. “He loves making sandcastles using cans and knickknacks he finds around the village.”
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