Uganda Health Impact Stories

Orphaned infant a "gift from God"

Written by World Vision Staff on Mar 30, 2016 3:13:23 PM


Little Isaac came into this world with the odds stacked against him. 

His mother died the day after he was born. He was so small people were afraid to touch him, let alone take him in as one of their own. Most of the people in his Ugandan village thought he would almost certainly die.

Thankfully, Josephine was not afraid. This 47-year-old mother was touched by the tiny, fragile infant and decided to bring him into her home. Her children wanted him too, especially her sons David and Samuel.

“‘Oh, Mom,’ they said, ‘this is a gift from God. Let’s name him Gift,’” Josephine recalled as she cradled the tiny baby in her lap.

Surrounded by love and acceptance, Isaac had a new chance at life. But it wasn’t going to be easy. Josephine had nothing to feed him but diluted cow’s milk.

At 3 months, Isaac weighed only 6 pounds—about the same as a newborn. The local hospital tried blood transfusions to make him stronger, but they didn’t help. Then a World Vision-trained village health team worker, Auma Hendricka, stepped in to assist.

In Uganda, many village health team workers like Auma are supplied with mobile phones with an app to capture and track the vital statistics of children and their mothers as well as provide timely, important health information.

They often are equipped with bicycles for travel, rain gear, and even medicine to treat malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea—Uganda’s top three killers of infants and young children.

Auma had another tool at her disposal, a World Vision nutrition program that identifies local families that are successfully nourishing their children and trains those families to teach others.

The program also weighs children, deworms them, and tests them for malaria. This intervention kept Isaac alive.

Today, whenever he isn’t sitting in Josephine’s lap, Isaac runs and plays and smiles with his brothers.