Gulbadin’s Story: Your RUTF Impact
When you complete Kid Power Up videos, you unlock packets of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for kids around the world. But you might be wondering: “What is RUTF, and who am I helping?”
Often called a “miracle food,” RUTF is a high-energy peanut paste that contains everything kids suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (sometimes called SAM for short) need to get back on track. (It needs no refrigeration and stays fresh for up to two years.) Parents don’t have to add fresh water, which can be limited in countries where kids are struggling the most. All moms and dads have to do is open the packet, feed their kids and watch them grow healthy and strong!
Who am I helping when I unlock a packet of RUTF?
Meet Gulbadin (/guul-buh-DEEN/) from Afghanistan. In 2020, he and his family had to leave Noorgul district in the eastern part of the country because food and jobs were scarce.
While displaced from home, Gulbadin and his family had to get by with very little, relying on donations from others in the community. As his family’s situation got worse, Gulbadin got sick.
Help at the hospital
Gulbadin’s mother (Bibi, age 31) took him to a local hospital for help. In a very critical condition (he could barely stand up), Gulbadin was diagnosed with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). He was admitted to the pediatric ward immediately for treatment to try to stabilize him and save his life.
How the RUTF you unlock makes a critical difference
After two days, Gulbadin began to improve, and his mother was relieved when he was released from the hospital to continue his treatment and weight gain at home. With RUTF, Gulbadin’s weight has increased, making him lively and healthier.
“I’m so happy to see he is improving. He has gained weight, and now they have given him 21 [packets] of Ready-to-Use therapeutic food (RUTF) for a week – three [packets] per day. He is so much better.”– Gulbadin’s mother Bibi
Unfortunately, Afghanistan has one of the world’s highest rates of malnutrition in children under the age of five: 37 percent. Without proper nutrition, children are more likely to get sick, less likely to get basic health care, and are not likely to do well in school. With SAM, there is an even greater danger as there is an immediate threat to a child’s survival.
However, with the right treatment and nutrition, Gulbadin and other kids like him are able to lead happy, healthy lives. They can play, learn and grow!
Look at what we can do when we all work together!
When your class participates in UNICEF Kid Power, you and your students are helping kids with SAM get the life-saving nutrition they need. Thanks to your hard work as a part of UNICEF’s efforts, Gulbadin is one of the over 270,000 children that UNICEF has been able to reach and treat for Severe Acute Malnutrition in the last year. Through your everyday actions, you’re not only getting active and learning, but you’re making a difference for kids just like you who may need some extra help right now.