“Recognizing and addressing the world’s malnutrition problem as one of the major underlying impediments to eradicating global poverty and economic growth will not only save lives, it is critical to the success of the U.S. government’s ability to advance our global development objectives.” – Edesia
A dear friend of mine and fellow social good blogger, Elizabeth Atalay (documama.org) is a mother of four, living in Rhode Island and is following her passion to help mothers and children around the world through advocacy and using her voice as a blogger. Elizabeth recently began working with local Rhode Island non-profit Edesia who produces a nutritional paste called Plumpy’Nut that is used globally by the World Food Programme, USAID and UNICEF to treat severe malnutrition.
Severe malnutrition impacts millions of children around the world and is highly preventable.
- According to UNICEF, there are at least 51 million children in our world under the age of five suffering from acute malnutrition, a condition directly responsible for at least 1 million young child deaths each year.
- Stunting occurs in children who have access to food but for whom nutrition and hygiene are inadequate; 165 million children are stunted and will experience lifelong cognitive and physical deficits that cannot be overcome. The irreversible stunting that occurs in children as a result of prolonged under nutrition, causes children to underperform in school and have lifelong health problems, furthering perpetuating economic loss and the cycle of poverty for families, communities, and countries.
- Malnutrition contributes to an estimated 45% of all child deaths as it makes a child more susceptible to other life threatening diseases and illnesses. Malnourished children are 9 times more likely to die from diarrhea and 6 times more likely to die from pneumonia.
- Malnutrition is called the silent killer because often it goes unnoticed until it is too late.
- The economic toll of malnutrition costs countries millions of dollars each year.
- Proper nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life – from conception to two years of age – is critical to a child’s healthy development and future productivity in society.
Navyn Salem began her journey in helping malnourished children in 2007 as a stay-at-home mom of four young girls. Horrified by the growing numbers of malnourished kids around the world Navyn decided to do something about it. She began with operations in her father’s homeland, Tanzania, and worked with the government and the French company Nutriset to produce Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods known as RUTFs. A factory was built in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital and today they provide RUTFs to nine neighboring African countries.