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Food security continues to be a growing concern here at Mae Tao Clinic. As well as providing dry food rations to over 3000 displaced children per month and offering a supplementary feeding programme to HIV positive mothers, we also feed between 700 – 800 patients and family members at the Clinic twice every day.
Patient Food and our Clinic Kitchen
Thirteen staff make up the MTC kitchen / food department. The food programme provides two meals to around 750-800 patients and accompanying family members every day. Rice soup is provided specifically to patients that are admitted to medical IPD and find more solid food difficult to eat. Extra provisions are given during eye surgery clinic months for eye surgery patients and their families.
Supplementary feeding programmes
Powdered milk is offered for babies with mothers who test HIV positive to prevent mother to child transmission up to one year of age. We also provide nutritional supplements / milk to special cases such as abandoned babies and neonatal admissions in RH-IPD up to 2 months of age and Child IPD admissions up to one year of age for conditions such as premature birth, low birth weight (<2kg), twins, maternal death, and malnutrition. Since January 2011 through RH-OPD pregnant women suffering from anaemia receive eggs as a nutritional supplement – one woman receives approximately nine eggs on average per month.
Food security has become a major concern at MTC. It has emerged as a growing funding gap due to ever increasing patient caseloads and children arriving from Burma for child protection and education. In most cases, the ration for dry food items had to be reduced by alternating between beans and tinned fish, or going without garlic in order to make up for funds needed to buy rice and other dry food items. Regrettably, funding from other programmes such as medical equipment and facilities had to be used for the food funding shortage. But fortunately, we received several donations of equipment in kind, which made up for the shortfall.