Due to the lack of prenatal medical care, poor maternal nutrition, and the hard life that many mothers must live, many infants are born premature or with low birth weights. Most of these infants struggle to live and many die due to lack of proper medical care.
God's Littlest Angels was founded to help these infants survive that initial neonatal period where so many infants are lost due to hypothermia, weakness and inability to suck a normal bottle, dehydration, and infection.
Our survival rate is over 90% for all preemies admitted to the nursery. Many of these infants return home to their families.
Almost all of the babies coming to the nursery have some degree of malnutrition. Most are not severe and with proper milk and food, the malnutrition quickly disappears and the infant quickly gains weight and develops normally. Most children have no lasting effects from malnutrition, if the child is given proper attention before the child turns 2 years of age. We have been very successful in reversing malnutrition even in severe cases of all ages.
We see three kinds of malnutrition among the children here. Each is treated in its own way, but mainly all treatment involves seeing that the child eats food high in protein and calories. We put infants on high calorie infant formula and toddlers on meat, beans, and vitamin enriched milk.
The different kinds of malnutrition are:
The child comes to us starved and wasted away. He/she has no fat tissue left on his/her body and is very thin. He/she is little more than skin and bones. This child needs more food - especially high-energy foods.
This child has not been eating enough body-building foods, or proteins, although he may be getting enough energy foods. He comes to us with swollen feet, hands, and face. Although he may look somewhat fat, the child has very little muscle left. He is little more than skin, bones, and water. He needs food rich in protein. We see this kind of malnutrition with babies whose caregivers have given them half strength milk and juice.
Some babies who don't get enough to eat on a consistent basis just stop growing. We will see 6 month old babies that look like fat healthy newborns weighing about 6 pounds. They aren't getting enough to eat to grow. This baby just needs food!
|This child came to GLA with Marasmus malnutrition. She did not receive enough food to eat.||This little boy was being fed but did not receive enough protein in his diet. Parents feed their children lots of high-energy foods but because protein foods are so expensive, they are not able to give the children daily protein.||This little girl at 14 months old weighed 10 pounds (4.5kg). She was the size of a 3 month old, but was sitting, eating, and playing. She was a failure to thrive baby.|
We are referred children needing surgical procedures not available in Haiti. Whether the child is for adoption or the family is just seeking help, we will contact our sources in the USA, Canada, and Europe to try to find surgical care for the children. GLA has found help for children with facial deformities, cleft lips and palates, heart conditions, burns, and orthopedic problems. The children have mostly traveled to the USA for these procedures. Upon completion of their surgical care, the children have returned to Haiti and their birth families, or they are adopted into new, forever families. Since 2004, 15 children have been sent for medical help. All services are donated by hospitals, doctors, and private donors to help these children.
Here are some children helped through our Surgical Referral Program: