Southwest somalia

Meet Ahada & Suldana

When drought and an infestation of locusts ruined their crops, food was scarce. Ahada never thought her daughter, Suldana, would recover.

Rahema and Faith - West Pokot, Kenya

Ahada's family grows produce...

like maize, millet, and beans for their livelihood. In recent years, the harvest from their farm hasn’t been enough due to recurrent drought, insufficient rainfall, and the infestation of desert locusts on their land.

“Last year was a good one, we received adequate rainfall and started planting a variety of crops with high expectation of getting a good yield and harvest. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned due to the locusts that invaded, eating up all our crops,” says Ahada.

Without any crops left in their stockpile, the family’s food supply fell below what they needed to keep themselves and their children well-fed. Food shortages and inadequate food intake can lead to malnutrition and increases in morbidity rates. Children under five, like Suldana, are most vulnerable. Her family, along with many others in their area, struggled to make ends meet. The only food available was goat milk and porridge, which was not sufficient for the whole family.

without enough food, suldana fell sick...

with a high fever and started losing weight rapidly. “When I saw my daughter’s health state, despair and desolation troubled my soul,” Ahada, Suldana's mother, remembers. Seeing her condition worsen as the days passed, she brought Suldana to one of Action Against Hunger’s Health and Nutrition Treatment Centers in Southwest Somalia.

A staff member performs an MUAC (Mid-Upper Arm Circumference) test for malnutrition on Suldana.

“I thought she would never recover...

from such a bad state,” says Ahada. “I lost hope when I saw Suldana’s condition deteriorating."

At Action Against Hunger’s Treatment Center, clinic staff examined Suldana and diagnosed her with severe acute malnutrition. She was immediately admitted into the outpatient treatment program, where she was put on a treatment regime and received weekly rations of a ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) called Plumpy'Nut. 


Ahada and Suldana meet with a doctor after her discharge from the clinic.

Suldana has now fully recovered...

from malnutrition, thanks to her mother’s dedication and the therapeutic food provided by the clinic. “My appreciation goes to the team," Ahada shared, "particularly the nurse who has been handling Suldana’s case with patience and dedication. Apart from treatment for my child, I also learned how to treat water, and healthy hygiene practices.”

Frontline health workers play a vital role in ensuring services reach the most vulnerable children, including Suldana, through both permanent and mobile nutrition and health centers. With the support of This Saves Lives, Action Against Hunger runs more than 10 health and nutrition centers in Southwest Somalia alone.  

Photos and Story by Ibrahim Jiroh for Action Against Hunger