A visionary Irish nurse who has devoted his life to helping starving children in India has been named Cork Person of the Month for July.
Pat McMahon from Meelin, Newmarket in north Cork, has issued a special appeal for urgent funding to continue his lifesaving work.
“I have a severe funding crisis at the moment as the project needs €1,000 a week, and we have only six weeks’ funding left,” he said.
“We have over 100 children on the nutrition programme and 49 undernourished pregnant women in our care. I really need a huge amount of help for my malnutrition programmes over the coming weeks and months.”
Mr McMahon was honoured with the latest Cork Person of the Month award to mark his inspirational life and work in India fighting malnutrition, especially over the last 11 years.
He spent two years as a Buddhist monk in Thailand before visiting Varanasi, a city of some two million people in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where he discovered poor children could not get any medical or hospital treatments. He began taking street children to hospital and paying for their treatment himself until his money ran out.
Following a chance meeting with Dr RK Singh in 2004, his project took off.
Dr Singh set aside space in a new hospital he was building to allow Mr McMahon establish the first malnutrition centre in the area. The service has expanded to include a mobile medical unit, a health promotion service, a TB screening service and a schools programme. The services are funded by voluntary subscriptions and have treated some 600 children for severe malnutrition in the last nine months alone.
Mr McMahon said 3.1 million children die every year because of malnutrition.
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