09 September 2008

Pour Votre Plus Grand Plaisir

I went to visit the CREN yesterday--it's a center for nutritional rehab for malnurished babies. Since one of the few ways women gain status in Nigerien society is through the number of children they have, many women start having babies right away (the Muslim women, I'm told, tend to marry between 14 & 16 years old) and will get pregnant again shortly after they give birth. So older baby is often weaned, very suddenly and prematurely. This leaves baby to survive on goats milk or reconstituted powdered milk, both which lack vitamins and nutrients that mom's "nono" contains (that is what they call breast milk). Many babies are also put on a diet high in carbohydrates (ie: millet mush) . . . which results in the bloated "malnutrition bellies" that so many of these kids have.

But the CREN renourishes these little ones, and teaches many moms proper nutrition. The women stay there at the CREN until baby is well enough to go home. So they not only hear, they have the opportunity to practice and receive social support from other women in the same situation.

So here are some photos of the CREN and the hospital that I took yesterday. Enjoy.

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