One Year After, See What Has Become Of A Malnourished Little Girl That Was Mistaken For A Dead Dog In Calabar

This is a touching story that unravels the true essence of life -making impacts.

One of the ways to make impacts is to reach out the helpless and make life worth living for them.

In 2017, an 18-months-old malnourished child was rescued from the claws of death by Dr. Betta Edu, the Director-General of Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency- CRSPHCDA.

The child identified as Christiana Etim and her then 16-year-old mother, Esther Etim Effiom were discovered by a team of Health Workers at Ikot Ekpo Axis of Calabar, during a Maternal and Newborn Child Health Week programme.

After months of intensive nutritional treatment, Christy began to gain weight and her transformation was quite incredible.

Interestingly, Christy turns three today and Dr. Edu took to her Official Facebook page to celebrate the child she mistook for a dead small dog the first day she saw her.

”Christy is 3 years old.

Like yesterday I clearly remember when I thought it was a dead small dog lying on a dirty veranda. I told the state nutrition officer who was with me on a community sweep seeking for malnourished children, that we will not go into that compound because I don’t want any rabies infected dog to bite me since one was dead already another could be by the side.

God had you in mind Christy it was your day for rescue! “My SNO said no madam, that is a dying child not a dead dog” we were 2 compounds away! The minute I heard dying child, my blood ran cold and I walked over to her.

At first I wondered how a woman will let her child die in her very face, until I met the mother who was only a teeneger and was equally strugling to stay alive, I knew immediately that this was the real reason God brought me there, to save Christy and her teenage mother Esther – Dr Betta Edu

This is the story of A young girl, Christy who overpowered severe malnutrition courtesy of the divine intervention of Dr Betta Edu who God used in rescuing her 3 years back.

The girl with bones sticking out of her ribs generated sympathy around the State with a few persons notably Mr Richard Akinaka, volunteering to support care for their needs and education. The two have been through several hospital admissions in the build back process but we are happy for progress made so far.

Now, that girl is so beautiful, strong and healthy. The malnourished girl, who survived severe pains as a child, is gradually gaining her footing in society, She is now grown and has turned into a beautiful young child. But asides the beauty, she’s also got brains and very smart. She hardly smiles…May be life didn’t smile at her at birth.

Presently, she is in nursery school. According to the teenage mother who is also enrolled in a secondary school, she dreams of little Christy and her becoming a medical doctor so the can help other kids who are currently going through what she went through all those years.


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Read the sad story of Esther Etim Effiom below as shared by Dr. Edu…

”Speaking, Dr Betta Edu said Esther who is but a child herself, gave birth to another child. This child now is severely malnourished, highly irritable, lacks any form of care and is waiting on death. Esther is out of school and does nothing. Every one is at the mercy of her mothers friend.

Esther is a young helpless teenager who deserves a chance at quality education and a Good life. Though she noted that the State Government is not relenting her effort in providing Vitamins A to Children.

She said as part of the State Government resolved to fight malnutrition in children a mandate was given to team of health workers on duty during the MNCH week to drew the attention of the Agency on any case of malnutrition so that necessary actions can be taken to revive such child.

So coming here today is part of that process as we have intensify effort to reach out to 447 communities with Vitamin A supplement as part of its effort to check malnutrition in the state. The young Christiana must survive, the teenage mother must go back to school so we are calling all Cross Riverians to give support to this family.

READ ALSO: How a Total Stranger Changed the Lives of Malnourished Children in Imo State

According to Mrs Cecilia Bassey Esther’s guidance, Esther was sent to live with a distant relation at Eket as a house maid; She just finished primary 6 when she got pregnant for Victor her so called lover who she refuses to Identify. According to her the family hosting her, sent her away with the pregnancy.

Back home, her grand parents, who she lived with initially, won’t take her in because they claimed the didn’t send her to Eket to get pregnant. Her mother who is now on the run, brought Esther to my house at 8 miles and left her there.

So she has been living with us since then, I don’t know what is wrong with the child as they all eats the same food with me. Am appealing to the Government and good people of Cross River State to come to our aid and save the life of Christiana ( the malnourished child)

The state nutrition officer, Mrs Regina Adie said it so pertinent that such case could be recorded in Calabar and with a teenage mother who is yet to begin her secondary education.

She said malnutrition was one of the key focus area during the just concluded MNCH Week even as we keep on advising mothers to come out with their children and immunize instead of staying at home syndrome which could endanger the life of their children. She pleaded with women to always visit Health facilities to ascertain the state of their children health.

The DG and the State Nutrition officer later took child and mother to General Hospital Calabar (pediatrics ward) where the child is presently on admission as aided by the Medical Superintendent Dr Ayi who saw reasons for the child to survive.

He said the Child will undergo several check up before treatment is given. He was adamant that before two to three weeks time the Child will be better.

It would be recalled that Cross River State Government had concluded plans to distribute vitamin A supplements and others to children in 447 communities as part of its effort to check malnutrition in the state especially places that cannot be accessed by roads.

READ ALSO: Remember Boy, 9, Who Was Chained and Starved by His Pastor Father? How He Looks Now Will Gladden Your Heart

Photo credit: Facebook/Dr. Edu

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