Health workers trained by Corus World Health found Mado when she was severely malnourished. While Mado received lifesaving treatment, her mother received training in home gardening and how to make a nourishing porridge to keep Mado and her siblings healthy. Photo by Crystal Stafford/Corus World Health.

Teaming up against malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Most two-year-olds can communicate, play and toddle around their homes, but Mado Betu was frail, lethargic and unable to walk. Day by day, the little girl was starving to death.

Mado's mother was doing everything she could, but her family had fallen on hard times and the 24-year-old was left to raise Mado and her four siblings alone. There was simply not enough food to go around. Time — and Mado's short life — were slipping away.

Empowering mothers through nutrition counseling and home gardening

A concerned neighbor saw Mado's condition and alerted the local health center near their home in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Health workers— trained and supported by Corus World Health — acted quickly to give Mado emergency treatment for malnutrition.

While Mado was recovering, the health workers also taught Mado's mother how to grow a variety of nutritious foods in a small home garden. They also showed her how to make a nourishing porridge with local ingredients including amaranth, fish flour, soy and corn flours, peanut meal, oil, salt and sugar to feed Mado and her siblings.

Together, these interventions saved Mado's life. Within six months, the toddler made a full recovery. Her strength and energy had returned, and she was walking in circles around her mother and smiling at the nurses who had cared for her. And thanks to her training in sustainable gardening and nutrition, Mado's mother now has what she needs to keep all her children nourished and healthy long into the future.

Saving lives through nutrition screening and treatment

Thanks to our generous donors, Corus World Health has enabled the screening of more than 1.6 million children like Mado in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Of these, 123,000 were referred to health centers for treatment by trained health professionals and 78% made a full recovery. To make this work possible, we recruited and trained 8,900 community volunteers to identify children at risk of malnutrition and 1,742 nurses to treat them— truly a community-wide effort to ensure more and more of the world’s children can grow up healthy and strong.