Radhika's Story

A Khushi Baby Field Monitor identified 11-month old Radhika, suffering from severe acute malnutrition during a health camp in the village of Hamited, in the sector of Parsad. The mother was encouraged to take this child, Radhika, to the malnutrition treatment center immediately. The mother deferred initially, prompting two Khushi Baby Field Monitors to follow-up at the household level the next day.

The monitors met both parents of Radhika. The father, a daily wage laborer, refused to take Radhika to the malnutrition treatment center, citing cost as a primary concern, and concern over who would look after the three other children at home during the 2-week hospitalization. The Khushi Baby monitors listened, observed, and carefully sought further understanding. They saw inside the kuccha (mud-based) house and noted the unsanitary home environment. They heard from the father about how Radhika wasn’t feeding as well, and how her mother, who herself was appearing undernourished, was unable to express milk for breastfeeding. At the age of 11 months, the Radhika weighed 6kg. At 14 months she was down to 3kg. With respectful urgency, the Khushi Baby Field Monitors persuaded the family to take Radhika to the community malnutrition treatment center in Parsad.

There, the child was found to weigh 2.7kg with a mid-upper-arm-circumference of just 9cm, prompting immediate referral to the District Hospital. After 21 days in the ICU undergoing nutritional rehabilitation, Radhika gained over 1kg, and was discharged with dietary advice and multivitamins. Radhika remains on the path of recovery today, and her parents have a renewed trust in the health system which saved their daughter.

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