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Will you help children win their fight to survive?
Four-year-old Pierre is momentarily comforted in the arms of his mother, Elene. They are at a referral hospital, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where severely undernourished children are admitted every day.
An incredibly worried Elene walked the 15km from their home to the hospital to get help for her malnourished son.
Elene has every reason to be worried. Pierre weighed just 7kg. An average 4-year-old boy should weigh around 16kg.
Pierre has severe acute malnutrition. Malnutrition has caused Pierre's legs to swell and he cannot eat. Elene says, "He was a happy boy, playing all the time. When I discovered that he wasn't playing and he wasn't eating anymore, I realised he was sick."
Hunger is the largest single contributor to child mortality worldwide and is responsible for nearly half of deaths in children under five.
Malnutrition leaves millions of children with lifelong physical and mental impairments. It is tragic and unacceptable as there are proven low cost solutions that can end this crisis. Our world has enough food for everyone – no child should die because of malnutrition. Yet millions are born into hunger and ultimately it's why they die.
You can help. Around the world we're fighting to end malnutrition for children like Pierre.
Kayembe's story of survival
Kayembe is a beautiful little boy. He lives in a village with his Aunt Vicky in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
But he has suffered more than any child should. His dad died of AIDS and not long ago his mother also started to get sick from the terrible disease.
His mother tried hard to keep Kayembe healthy, but as she got sicker, so did Kayembe. He lost weight and started showing signs of malnutrition.
Thankfully Kayembe's aunt was there. She started caring for and looking after the family. But with four children of her own, it was a struggle. Her husband, a farmer, worked hard to earn an income to support the larger family, but there was still barely enough rice and foufou (a local staple food often made of cassava) to go around.
It simply wasn't enough for Kayembe's already malnourished body. He developed a fever and suffered from diarrhoea. A month went by and he wasn't getting any better. And sadly, Kayembe's mother passed away from AIDS.
With 21-month-old Kayembe still sick, his Aunt Vicky walked for 1½ hours to reach the hospital. Doctors diagnosed Kayembe with severe malnutrition, prescribing antibiotics for his fever and a nutritious peanut paste to help him gain weight.
Hunger is the largest single contributor to child mortality worldwide and is responsible for nearly half of deaths in children under five. Malnutrition leaves millions of children with lifelong physical and mental impairments. It is tragic and unacceptable as there are proven low cost solutions that can save lives.
Happily, Kayembe received some of this help, and with the antibiotics and nutritious peanut paste he started to get better. Two months after our teams met him, we heard that Kayembe was discharged from hospital, a happy and healthy little boy.
But there are other children around the world who aren't so lucky. You can help more children access the care they need to fight malnutrition.