malnutrition rehabilitation

Our two Malnutrition Rehabilitation Centres (MRCs) in Zola and Alexandra provide holistic care daily for 150 severely malnourished children aged two to six years.

On admission, children are thoroughly screened by ACFS nurses. In addition to being weighed and measured, any health concerns are noted so that each child's progress can be monitored on an ongoing basis.

Early education and school readiness form an important part of the MRC programme, so children are grouped according to age to ensure activities are suited to their level of learning.

Proof of the efficacy of the programme is the children themselves: from weak, sickly, miserable babies they blossom into energetic, bright-eyed little ones who clamber up jungle gyms and sing at the top of their voices.



Although the MRCs follow a holistic approach to child development, nutrition is the primary focus.

Every morning starts with breakfast, followed by theme-based educational activities.

After their mid-morning snack, the children participate in structured indoor games and outdoor free play, before eating a hearty, cooked lunch.

Fruit and juice are provided in the afternoons, which allow time for a rest period, story time and additional educational activities.

It's a full day for the children who count on the centres to fulfil their nutritional and educational needs.



malnourished childThis four-year old little boy weighed just nine kilograms when he first joined our Naledi Centre.

He was taken in by his grandmother last year, after his mother died and the pair survive on the old lady's State pension.

The attention that Joseph is receiving through ACFS is making real change possible in his life. His health is monitored, he's getting enough nutritious food to grow properly and he's able to play and learn.


Connies, who also comes to our Naledi centre, lives with her grandfather as her mother is unemployed.

We are monitoring this three-year-old very closely as her progress is slow. She was referred to the clinic for deworming, but despite this, she has barely put on any weight.


hungry childFour-year-old Ntando weighed 11 kg when we first met her at our Zola centre. She's been living with her granny since her mother died three years ago.

Her granny gets a government grant of R190 per month to help her support the little girl, but it's not enough to raise a child.


Four-year-old Pumi has to be fetched from home every morning by one of the Zola centre teachers – because her mother is too ill to bring her to the centre.

Her mom has AIDS and Pumi herself is HIV positive. She's on anti-retroviral treatment and takes her medicine every morning after breakfast at the centre.

Pumi's already gained two kilograms – and has changed from a shy, emaciated child with sores on her mouth and sad eyes, to a playful little girl with an ever increasing zest for life.

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