Well, the two remaining triplets are now 2 1/2 years old and they’ve been hospitalized three times on the malnutrition service - spending months of their lives at our hospital.
|October 2015 (10 months old)|
Their mama understands what nutrition they need and does her best to care for them at home, but repeatedly she watches them become thinner and sicker, and finally she decides to take the arduous four hour walk to our hospital carrying both kids. I recently read a study highlighting the high (20%) mortality rate of twins in sub-Saharan Africa - three times that of non-twins - and that includes countries with much better infrastructure than Burundi. So it’s easy to imagine that the mortality rate of twins or triplets in Burundi is much higher. We always have several sets of twins in the hospital - usually premies in the NICU and kids on the malnutrition service. It’s so hard for mothers who are also malnourished to have enough milk for two babies at once.
|One of the twins with Anna in April 2016 (16 months old)|
|Eliana (left) and Rita (right) are both 2 1/2 years old!|
So for Emery and Rita it’s two steps forward and one step back - especially this month. They were doing great and ready to go home (though still only weighing 10lbs and 13lbs) but I wanted them to stay in the hospital a little longer so they could learn to walk with Judith and Anna through some intensive physical therapy.
|May 2017 (2 1/2 years old)|
|Learning to stand|
|Emery learning to walk with Judith|
I regret that decision now as they both caught serious infections in the hospital partly as a result of our overcrowding and they almost died. Praise the Lord who healed them one more time! They’re thankfully heading home once again now, and the mother will continue the physical therapy at home. But I look forward to the day when we will have a new pediatric ward with enough beds for each patient and a dedicated play room to help with the development and sensory stimulation for these kids. And I hope that when patients are no longer sharing beds, that the risk of them also sharing infections will decrease dramatically. Please pray with me for Emery and Rita and the many other patients we take care of with severe malnutrition and pray for God to provide the funds for a new well-lit, clean space in which to care for them.
|Going home in June 2017, pictured with Anna and Abi Fader|