A Mother's Day Tribute to Moms on the Front Lines of the Fight to End Malnutrition

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This weekend, as we say show our love and appreciation to the moms in our lives, UNICEF Kid Power salutes the mothers around the world who will stop at nothing to keep their children healthy and safe.

Determined women like Simeon from Haiti.

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Last June, she was recovering from tuberculosis. But when her 3-year-old became so malnourished that he couldn't walk, she gathered her strength and carried him to a UNICEF-supported hospital hours away to receive lifesaving treatment with ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF).

Haiti is just one place where UNICEF partners with millions of mothers to save children from malnutrition.

In countries like Pakistan, where prenatal care is scarce, mothers who don’t know to breastfeed are often anguished to learn they’ve helped cause their babies’ malnutrition.

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That's what happened to little Bhagwati. Her mom, Gulli, couldn't afford milk, so she fed her daughter a diet of butter and honey, and the baby only grew weaker by the day. But once the mother of four got Bhagwati to a UNICEF clinic for treatment, she quickly corrected course. Armed with enough RUTF to keep Bhagwati’s recovery on track, Gulli also took home invaluable nutritional and hygiene advice that’s made her entire family healthier.

RUTF works miracles, but sometimes caring for a malnourished child is too big a job for one person — especially in South Sudan, where last year’s famine made daily life a desperate struggle. That’s why when little Maria suffered a severe bout of malnutrition, her mother and grandmother took turns bringing her to the UNICEF clinic for treatment, where doctors’ careful supervision and therapeutic food brought the toddler back to life.

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Children surely need their families when they’re sick but UNICEF nutrition specialists like Janneke Blomberg certainly play a vital role too.

One-year-old Abdullah was on the brink of death when he was hospitalized in Sudan for malnutrition. But after treatment with therapeutic milk, he’s back on solid food — and RUTF, which his mother picks up during their frequent visits with Janneke and the other health workers at the UNICEF treatment center.  

Mothers, grandmothers, and UNICEF health workers are all critical to a malnourished child’s survival.

But, there’s someone else we wish to recognize: You! All you mothers who support your children as they get active to save lives and take your own steps to end global malnutrition.

With your support, the UNICEF Kid Power Team has unlocked more than 10 million packets of RUTF — enough to save over 70,000 lives!

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for the most vulnerable children!