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Set a place at your table for a hungry child this Christmas

13 November 2020, Impact of Our Work, Voices from the Field, Action for Change

You can save a child like Abdi from deadly hunger

At 18 months, Abdi was at an age where he should have been toddling around his house, learning his first words, laughing and playing. Instead he was too weak to move and struggling to breathe. He had been hungry for so long, he’d lost his strength to eat altogether. “He was in a lot of pain and he was not eating at all,” his mother Alafi said.

Quality medical care in the remote Somali region of Ethiopia where they live is scarce. It can take days to travel to the nearest hospital, and often at a hefty cost. But Alafi had to take decisive action to save her son’s life.

She rushed him to the hospital, where he was admitted to the emergency room and diagnosed with Severe Acute Malnutrition and anaemia. He could barely breathe and had to get a feeding tube in his nose to get some much-needed energy back.

He spent a week in the children’s ward, supported by Save the Children, receiving medicine and food to get him back to health. Just one week later he was ready to leave the ward and continue to receive care through outpatient treatment. Months later, Abdi is like a different child, says Alafi.  

“When I see him recover so well as such, I really feel happy and blessed. I can’t thank enough all who supported us.”


There are many more children like Abdi



18-month old Ayan had never gone more than two days without falling sick. Her mother had been to many hospitals, but could never afford the medication. After days of receiving treatment for malnutrition at the Save the Children supported local health centre, Ayan began to act like a toddler again. On her last day she walked up to nurse Fatima to hug her legs and entertain everyone in the ward with her babbling words.



Mohamed is from Ethiopia, just like Abdi. His mother Ayan had to take him to Save the Children’s supported local health centre after Mohamed became severely ill. Following a carefully designed treatment plan, Mohamed got stronger every day and slowly started to eat again. After almost a week in the clinic, he was doing a lot better. He was eating and drinking again, and slowly getting his chatty, funny personality back.



When Muraat, at just 17 months old, completely lost her appetite, and was vomiting and had diarrhoea, her mother Hoden was terrified. By the time they got to the hospital, Muraat was unconscious and they feared for her life. Muraat stayed for 11 days in hospital before being released to the outpatent clinic and making a full recovery.

Save a child from deadly hunger this Christmas

You can give children like Abdi, Ayan, Mohamed and Muraat hope that they too can recover from malnutrition. This year, we are asking our wonderful supporters to ‘set an extra place at your table’, a symbolic generous space for someone less fortunate through your gift. By donating today, you are supporting Save the Children’s health centres, children’s hospital wards and outpatient clinics which see so many children, like these four, suffering from malnutrition every day.

*Names have been changed to protect identities.

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