Howa Haroum is 40 years old and lives near the village of Tchaway in Bokoro, Chad. She has been in the MSF intensive care unit in Bokoro Town for four days with her grandson, Adeen. She thinks he is around two years old.
“I’m here instead of Fatima [the child’s mother] as she has a very tiny baby. So I took Adeen to the clinic to pick up the rations and then return home but when I arrived the saw nurses saw Adeen and said I had to come straight here. I’ve had to leave my mother in law in our village, she’s a very old women. I also have a three year old child and I’ve had to leave them both” she says.
“Adeen had a fever. He was vomiting and had diarrhoea. But since he’s been here he’s been ok. He hasn’t put on much weight but I can tell his health is better. I hope he continues to get better like this until Wednesday and then the doctors might say I can go home.”
Adeen also has microcephaly, an abnormal smallness of the head where the brain doesn’t normally fully develop. Of course, the MSF staff won't be able to cure this but once he has recovered from malnutrition they will return to their village.
“I haven’t spoken to Fatima since I’ve been in the hospital. I don’t have a phone. It’s difficult for her. Illness has separated them.”