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From acute to moderate malnutrition, community health workers bring hope to a Syrian family hit by conflict

una madre siria sujeta a su bebé que sufre malnutrición moderada tras recibir tratamiento de Acción contra el Hambre

Amina with her daughter Nour, after she received treatment to recover from acute malnutrition © May Mahmoud for Action Against Hunger 

Amina, a 23-year-old single mother, anxiously awaited news of her missing husband for two long years, after he had disappeared due to the conflict in Syria. Unfortunately, the shocking news of his death reached her recently, which has left her emotionally unsettled. Amina and her two children, one boy and a girl, found solace in the home of her parents, along with her three sisters and two brothers.

Life was far from easy for the family, as they suffered from severe financial hardships. Amina's elderly father worked hard to support them, collecting plastic for a limited income. Meanwhile, Amina and her sisters struggled to make ends meet by working in corn husking, but it only generated a poor amount of money.

To add to her burdens, Amina noticed that her 2-year-old daughter, Nour, seemed different from other children her age. Nour was smaller and unresponsive, unable to speak or stand. Amina sensed something was wrong but couldn't figure out what it was, which affected her psychological state.

Action Against Hunger team with community health workers at Amina’s home, following up on Nour’s condition.

Action Against Hunger team with community health workers at Amina’s home, following up on Nour’s condition © May Mahmoud for Action Against Hunger.


Action Against Hunger's community health workers, visited Amina's neighborhood. During their home visits, they screened Nour for malnutrition and discovered that she was suffering from generalized edema (fluid accumulation that affects the whole body rather than organs or body areas). with a measurement of 10 for her Mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC). They immediately referred her case to the nearest Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition center to provide the necessary treatment.

Upon hearing the news, Amina expressed her surprise, "I thought that my daughter had gained some weight, I didn’t know that she was suffering from a serious illness." 

Thankfully, after a week of treatment at the center, Nour's health improved, and she recovered from the generalized edema.

The same health workers who discovered Nour’s case, continued to monitor her condition, and after two months, her MUAC measurement improved to 12.5, indicating that her case had transformed from severe acute malnutrition to moderate malnutrition. It was a sign of progress, and her health was gradually getting better.

A community health worker does a MUAC screening to a Syrian child

A community health worker does a MUAC screening to Nour in order to monitor her recovery © May Mahmoud for Action Against Hunger


“After the news of my husband’s death, I felt that I was losing hope. But now, Nour is recovering, and she is in good health. Hope has returned to me and to my family. I Thank God and Action Against Hunger for your follow-up and efforts”, said Amina.  

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