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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Dulu Bibi's Story

Micronutrient Supplements: Vitamin A and Zinc

On the eastern edge of Kolkata in India, twenty-five year-old mother-of-four Dulu Bibi worries about the cost of treating her two sick children.

Dulu’s husband earns about 80-90 rupees (US$1.90 or €1.40) a day. She finds feeding the family a huge challenge.

“Since my husband earns little money, and we have four children, food is a problem. We just don’t have enough to eat” Mrs. Bibi says.

The children appear undernourished. Their very basic diet is unlikely to provide them with the essential micronutrients that children need to thrive.

Two of Dulu’s children are suffering now from diarrhea. The three- and one-year-old boys are weak and feverish. They lack any appetite and cry a lot. Dulu must choose between food and medicine to treat the diarrhea. “If I have to spend 150-200 rupees (around US$4 or €2.80) on medicine, then what will I eat and feed my children with?”

Her children often have diarrhea. “It comes and goes”, she says.

There are medical centers close to where the family lives, but they are too expensive, so Dulu must travel for two hours, “which is difficult and also costs money”, in order to reach affordable treatment at Calcutta Rescue.

Based on an interview by Devjyot Ghoshal. Photographs by Devjyot Ghoshal.

Kapil Tamang's Story

Five-year-old Kapil is not at school today. He is once again sick with diarrhea and stomach pain. He will go to church to pray with his mother for recovery.