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Like so many Nigerien women, she arrived at our clinic in a bright-colored boubou (dress) and gele (headscarf), with a baby on her hip. The baby’s mother—her daughter—died during childbirth a month prior to our visit. This grandmother was seeking our help with the hope that somehow, her starving grandchild would survive.
“It was evident that this baby was losing her failure to thrive,” said Medical Mission Coordinator Erika Jasper. “She displayed extreme cases of weakness, lack of energy, fatigue.”
The baby’s grandmother had no money for milk. And it’s the custom in Niger that women will only breastfeed their own babies. So essentially, the mother’s death made her infant’s survival next to impossible. If God hadn’t brought our medical missions team to Torodi that day, “I would have given her a few weeks to live, a month at max,” Jasper said.
A volunteer prepared a bottle of liquid formula, which the little girl quickly engulfed. The grandmother was glad to receive additional formula for future feedings. And Jasper took time to show her how to mix it with sterilized water, and bottle feed her grandbaby. But her biggest blessing was yet to come!
That day, our team purchased a goat for the woman and her family—a $40 purchase that would practically ensure the baby’s survival. She was elated! And so was our team.
“In lieu of breast milk, goat milk is very nutritious…full of the same antibodies that are in breast milk,” said Jasper. It is also easily digestible, which makes goat milk an ideal “medicine” to help malnourished children begin to thrive.
This small act of love transformed two lives at the very least. It’s one of many victories we can celebrate together—because through your prayers and giving, each of us plays a vital part.
In 2016, short-term medical/dental outreaches were held in 11 different nations around the world. A big thanks to our medical volunteers who joined us in Niger, and those who’ve traveled with us to distant places where so many people are in critical need of medical and dental health care. We could NEVER do this without you!
To learn more about our medical/dental missions outreaches and view a schedule of upcoming trips to help people in the greatest need of medical/dental care.