Every infant matters – Payal’s story

Every infant matters – Payal’s story

India Post News Service

Payal weighed only 1.1 kilograms (2.4 pounds) when she was born. Her mother, severely malnourished and anemic, went into premature labor 2 months ahead of her time. The doctors despaired of keeping her alive and gave up all attempts to resuscitate the newborn baby, a tiny scrap of humanity who was unable to move or cry or even breathe properly. This is God’s will, said Payal’s parents, accepting their fate. Everyone gave up hope.

Everyone except for Dr. Radhika Batra, Founder and President of Every Infant Matters. Radhika struggled for the next several months to keep the child alive. Using her own network amongst like-minded doctors, she enabled free admission and treatment for the mother and child. She treated diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, hypothermia, and every kind of neonatal infection. She ensured a steady supply of oxygen. She arranged food for the family and paid for medicines and tests.

Payal was discharged from the hospital after a while, but the problems didn’t end. Her mother was unable to produce breast milk for the baby. Her father had no job. The family had no home to go to. But Radhika was there like a rock, providing every support and help to the family and treating Payal day after day like she does for so many premature, low birth weight, and sick children.

Now Payal is 3 years old. She has gained weight, she is bright and intelligent, and she has an innate curiosity and a smile that endears. And she clings to Radhika and follows her around like a little bundle of joy.

“Life is unfair to innocent children born in poverty. No access to vaccinations, nutritious food, medical treatment. It is heart-breaking that millions die in the first 5 years of life,” says Radhika. “We shall not rest till we have established sustainable solutions to prevent disease, deaths, and disabilities. And we shall do this with full devotion and enthusiasm so that no child is left behind.”

Every Infant Matters is providing the essential micronutrient supplements to marginalized, malnourished pregnant women in India, Kenya, Nigeria, and the Dominican Republic. This improves the nutrition level of both the mother and growing baby and prevents low-birth weight with all its attending complications. Our flagship project is getting stronger day by day; we give 2 drops of Vitamin A to prevent permanent blindness in hungry children. Children who survive on small quantities of poor-quality food can become irreversibly blind due to Vitamin A deficiency.

For more information contact Dr Shelly Batra CEO, Every Infant Matters www.everyinfantmatters.org

© 2020 Every Infant Matters