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Nearly 24% of children under the age of 5 in Mongolia are suffering from a lack of Vitamin D, meaning that many of them suffer from the nutritional deficiency disease, rickets.
The bone disease is most likely to occur during periods of rapid growth in early childhood, resulting in skeletal deformities and a growth disturbance.
AmeriCares is helping to address this problem through an ongoing partnership with the Fraternité Notre Dame, which serves the poor in the capital city of Ulan Bator. AmeriCares recently provided the organization with 15,800 cans of infant formula fortified with Vitamin D. The AmeriCares donation will support this group’s basic nutritional programs and will be distributed to pediatric hospitals, the Charity Hospital and the homeless in the surrounding areas.
“One mother came to us and she was crying,” says Sister Marie Françoise of Fraternité Notre Dame. “At four months old, her baby weighed only two kilos (4.4 pounds). The baby was dying because her mother had no milk. Then the AmeriCares milk came and it saved the baby’s life.”
AmeriCares provides aid on a quarterly basis to the Fraternité Notre Dame, whose efforts to reach as many people as possible are nothing short of remarkable. AmeriCares has been partnering with Fraternité Notre Dame since 2000, providing medicines, supplies and nutritional supplements valued at more than $13 million.