When Holt International’s Child Nutrition Program team traveled to India in spring 2015, they came back with reports of children whose lives and health had been transformed due to nutritional intervention.
Chahel* would not have survived. Born premature with a serious heart condition, he came into care shortly after birth at a rural branch site of our legacy partner outside the central India city of Pune. Transferred to Pune for better care, Chahel needed constant hemoglobin testing and regular blood transfusions. Fortunately, Holt had recently equipped the staff at his care center with a Hemocue machine and training to measure hemoglobin for iron-deficiency anemia. Chahel received the medical interventions he needed and today, he is able to stand with support and recently took his first few steps. This care center is now seeking a loving family for him.
Sabal* and Ibha* were frail and seriously underweight when they came into care. At 15 months, Sabal weighed just 18 pounds, while Ibha at nearly 2 months weighed under 5 pounds. This brother and sister were always tired and struggled to adjust to life in care at BSSK. Well fed at BSSK and fully treated for their health conditions — Ibha was living with HIV, and Sabal wore an eye patch over his infected left eye — their continued failure to thrive puzzled the caregivers and staff. When staff from Holt and our partner SPOON Foundation visited BSSK in February 2015, they helped to correct nutritional deficiencies in Ibha and Sabal. With adjustments to their diet, today they are full of joy and life and the staff feel confident they can find a loving adoptive family for them.
For children like Chahel, Sabal and Ibha, help by way of the ONP came just in time. As early nutrition is so crucial to development, meeting the nutritional needs of these vulnerable children can prevent life-threatening illnesses and even prevent permanent special needs.