News / USA

Global Activists Seek Improved Nutrition for Pregnant Women, Infants

A mother feeds her malnourished child at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre in Sheopur district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, April 6, 2010
A mother feeds her malnourished child at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre in Sheopur district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, April 6, 2010

Multimedia

Laurel Bowman

Malnutrition in the 1,000 days from the early stages of pregnancy through the age of two, causes irreversible physical and mental damage in one out of every three children worldwide. That's according to Bread for the World Institute, an organization that aims to end hunger across the globe. The group convened a massive gathering Monday in Washington, D.C, in an effort to build political momentum for its cause - improving nutrition for pregnant women and infants around the world.

In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, infant mortality is dropping. Free prenatal care, offered close to home, is the key to India’s campaign to reduce maternal and infant deaths. Health clinic workers teach mothers how to meet their babies’ nutritional needs and how to sustain themselves with proper foods while pregnant.

“I come every two weeks for a check-up and they give me the medication and supplements I need," said one pregnant young woman, Sunati, in Tamil. "They also ask me to eat a lot of greens, iron-rich foods and eggs.”

Malnutrition among pregnant women and infants was the focus of the conference. Hundreds of aid workers and activists gathered to build political momentum for nutrition efforts they say could save 1 million children every year.

Asma Lateef is with Bread for the World, which aims to end hunger worldwide.

"We know now that if you miss the 1,000 days window of opportunity between pregnancy and age two, the impact on a child is irreversible," said Lateef. "There is nothing you can do to make up for malnutrition during that critical window of opportunity.”

Lateef said efforts as simple as hand-washing - to reduce diarrhea - and breast-feeding - the healthiest alternative for infants - go a long way toward fighting malnutrition. And she said these relatively cheap investments on the front-end save nations money down the line.

“Countries with a high burden of malnutrition - and there are 36 countries in the world that have a high burden of malnutrition - for those countries they lose two percent to three percent of their gross national product or their national income because of malnutrition," she said.  "That’s a catastrophic loss… ”

Global nutrition activists hope to make theirs a more popular cause. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has given weight to their efforts.  She launched the One Thousand Days Partnership at the U.N. Development Goals Summit last year. The aim: ending child malnutrition.

“The Obama administration has put women and children at the heart of our development efforts, including our global health initiative - a $63-billion initiative to strengthen maternal and child health, family planning, nutrition," said Clinton.

Maternal and infant nutrition experts say those countries struggling with chronic hunger must take the lead in combating their nations’ problems, backed up by wealthy donor nations delivering sustained support.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid