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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells California Republican Convention delegates the campaign will be 'a battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of the June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora