Starving Triplets, Part 1

A desperate family struggles to keep their newest babies alive.

Thirty-five-year-old Dinavence Maziina of Makwetere village has been married to Mr. Patrick Katwesigye for 13 years. They are a peasant couple with little in this world’s material goods. However, they are blessed with eleven children, including two sets of twins, and one set of triplets!

Dinavence expected to deliver her triplets in March and hoped for a normal pregnancy and delivery. But premature labor pains caught her by surprise, and her family rushed her to Ishaka Adventist Hospital. After a thorough evaluation, her doctor explained that her womb was too small to accommodate the growing trio of babies inside of her. Ultimately, three boys—Habert, Abbias, and Abel—were born prematurely at 34 weeks gestation. Thus, the hospital placed each baby in an incubator and provided neonatal intensive care until the children were developed enough to be discharged in March. 

But as soon as the mother and triplets arrived home, the family faced more challenges: Dinavence did not have an adequate milk supply for the three growing boys, and her husband Patrick could not afford to buy cow’s milk as a supplement. Habert, Abbias, and Abel became undernourished. “I could not handle seeing them slowly dying,” Dinavence said, remembering their protruding bellies. Out of desperation, she finally decided to feed them porridge made from plain cassava flour.

The results were rather hazardous! Their little bodies could not digest the starch in the cassava porridge. The triplets were rushed back to the hospital, this time slowly dying of digestive failure.

When I visited the triplets in the hospital, I was startled to see that two of the boys weighed 3 pounds 8 ounces and the smallest boy weighed 2 pounds 12 ounces. It was a miracle that they were alive! I learned that their pediatrician had prescribed a nutritious formula with a price tag of about $9.00.  Each baby boy needed to feed on this formula eight times a day, emptying a single formula container in just two days. 

Dinavence and Patrick were in a heartbreaking situation. They worked on tea plantations to earn a meager living of less than $1 a day (3,000 Ugandan shillings). The stress and responsibility of caring for their infants consumed their time and energy, most often conflicting with their ability to work. And yet they needed almost $150 (540,000 Ugandan shillings) to feed only three out of their eleven children each month. For this family, the outlook appeared hopeless—but nothing is impossible with God. This crisis was an opportunity for His children to act and to give so that the starving triplets might live—and someday praise Him for His mercies on a peasant couple with a houseful of children and no money.  


Told by Dinavence Maziina to John Kaganzi, a district pastor in the Ruhandagazi District in Uganda and the manager of Messenger Radio in Mbarara.

How You Can Help
Pray for Patrick and Dinavence that they may know how to manage their finances. 

Give to the work in Uganda. Needs include church buildings, Bible worker training and support for church planters. Send your gifts marked “Uganda Evangelism” or “Uganda Churches” to: 

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Thank you. Your gifts sustain seven full-time Bible workers and one full-time evangelist who are bringing God’s last warning to southern Uganda. Thank you so much for your support of these workers.