Preventative measures are alarmingly necessary. Malnutrition has been flagged at acute emergency levels. Any outbreak of disease in the settlements would quickly claim the lives of thousands of malnourished children.
Bangladesh has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal and child malnutrition. An estimated six million children are chronically undernourished. Many pregnant women are underweight, anaemic, and consume a nutrient-poor diet.
A large number of Ugandan women and children were consuming insufficient amounts of vitamin-A. The prevalence of vitamin-A deficiency and xerophthalmia in Uganda stands at 2.52% and 5.4% respectively, though it is estimated that about 50% children consume insufficient amounts of vitamin-A.
It was the summer of 1975. I was working in Oxford with a student group campaigning on world poverty and in support of liberation movements in Africa and Asia. Oxfam House was just down the road. They were recruiting an assistant to work in Saigon.
Sierra Leoneans celebrated in the streets last month when 42 days passed without a single new case of Ebola. The mix of mourning and jubilation called to mind the signing of a peace treaty after a war, and the end of Ebola should indeed be greeted as a victory.
Bangladesh is rated as one of the 36 high malnutrition burdened countries in the world. Although it was widely perceived that malnutrition could be curbed down by increasing peoples’ income, recent studies have shown that it is not always the case. Malnutrition is not only under-nutrition but also over-nutrition, which leads to obesity leading to further health complications such as non-communicable diseases. Moreover, exposure to junk food coupled with a lack of knowledge on nutrition increases the prevalence of malnutrition across the mid and higher quintile of the population.
Asma Akhter had her first child at the age of 15. She had little knowledge on infant, young and child feeding (IYCF) practices and used to believe in superstitions and social taboos regarding child care. She had avoided breastfeeding her daughter within one hour of birth and had wrongly fed other lacteals during her child’s first six months.
On a gloomy morning, Rabiya (4) sat with her legs crossed on the front yard of her parents’ mud hut. A pot of steaming white broth made of rice water laid innocently beside her lap, and she was carefully blowing on it to cool it down.