Three severely malnourished children have been rescued from starvation in Galma area, Samburu Central sub-county.
The children, including twins aged between one and four years, were rescued from the jaws of death by a local pastor who had gone to preach in the area and are receiving treatment at Maralal Referral Hospital.
Rev Peter Lesuruai said that he found the children under the care of their grandmother who was hiding them beneath tattered clothes to avoid stigma from the community.
He said that the children’s mother is mentally ill and had run away from home leaving the infants under the care of the elderly woman who was feeding them a bowl of porridge once a day.
“The grandmother is very poor and has been hiding them for fear of stigma and I suspect she was just waiting for them to die but luckily i was told about them by a neighbour,” he said.
Maralal Referral Hospital Medical Superintendent Robert Nato said that the three children are severely malnourished and they were on the verge of death.
He said that they have been put under intensive therapeutic care and they would stay in the hospital for four to six weeks.
“Our nutritionist is taking care of them round the clock to ensure they regain strength,” he said.
Nato said that good nutrition is critical between 0-5 years in human development in terms of physical, psychological and mental capacity.
However, he noted that doctors attending the children had not found any underlying diseases adding that they are still undergoing tests.
The Medical Superintendent called upon the children’s department to look for a rescue center for the children to live once they are discharged from hospital.
“The children’s mother is mentally ill and the grandmother who is now the primary caregiver is old and very poor. I believe these children should not be taken back to such conditions,” Nato said.
Rev Lesuruai noted such cases are numerous in the county but parents tend to hide the malnourished or disabled children for fear of stigmatisation. He called upon parents not to hide their children but rather speak out so that they can receive help.