Saturday, February 19, 2011

Children and malnutrition

What I deal with a lot in my clinic is a chronic state of malnutrition. The children in the village have access to very little healthy food. The typical day is rice, beans and tortillas. Almost no vegetables, and the only fruit are the random fruit that kids can climb trees and acquire. Here is an article about this:

About 800,000 Honduran children suffer from chronic malnutrition, according to the UN World Food Program (WFP).

The WFP described as alarming the number of families without access to basic foods in this Central American nation, where seven of every 10 people live in poverty.

"A country in which 27 percent of its children suffer chronic malnutrition is not only a problem of development but also of security," said WFP representative Miguel Barreto in statements published in the newspaper El Heraldo.

Barreto explained that malnourished children have physical and intellectual development problems that then makes their active incorporation in society difficult.

Peruvian expert Enrique Vargas, suggested implementing a nutritional program for children and adolescents similar to others implemented elsewhere on the continent.

The Honduran government declared 2011 as a year of food and nutrition security, and announced a strategy to guarantee the right to food.

"We have land that can produce, a proper climate for some crops but must work to teach the population that the land can be used for something," said President Porfirio Lobo.

However, campesino organizations such as Plataforma Agraria warned that the problems in Honduras have their roots in the unfair distribution of wealth.

In this country one percent of producers control one-third of the best land, while 375 small farmers have no place to plant.


John (Juan) Donaghy said...

In our part of Honduras (the west) there are regions where 65% of the infants and mothers of children under two are severely malnourished. There is a program here that is working in two departments and has had some success in reducing infant mortality and severe malnourishment. But, as the article notes a real concern is the unjust distribution of wealth and land ownership. Access to land may very well help access to decent food.

Sr. B said...

It's a difficult problem... do you guys have a CMAM (plumpy-nut) programme in the country? I went to a workshop last year on nutritional counseling and can send you the highlights - there is a lot of great info for education and I have all the screening / programme info for CMAM that I could send you... would help without even using the product. Also... you might want to check into to maringa - the Miracle tree. Luv you and keep up the work! :o)