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Day of the African Child 2018: Stories from Tanzania #1


Early in 2018, Joseph lost his wife and mother of their 3-year-old daughter. Different people were caring for his daughter, but when she dramatically lost weight he called the Child Helpline in Tanzania, seeking advice on what could be wrong.

He was worried that perhaps his daughter wasn’t being fed properly. Mary, a counsellor at the Helpline realised that the child had symptoms of a worm infection, and she advised Joseph to take his daughter to a doctor for a check up.

Mary’s advice had almost literally saved his daughter’s life. Three weeks later, Joseph called the Helpline once again, this time to say thank you. The doctors had found that the child had a severe tapeworm infection, and she had immediately been referred to Bugando Referral Hospital for surgery. She was now well on her way to recovery.

Mary reminded him that his daughter’s health was of the utmost importance, and that he and her other caretakers needed to ensure proper hygiene in general and especially when preparing meals. She reminded him of the importance of a balanced diet, and frequent meals as his daughter was still growing as well as how to encourage her appetite instead of the usual force-feeding. Joseph was very grateful and was certain that his now healthy daughter would get the proper hygiene and nutrition she needed to grow big and healthy.