News / Africa

Malnutrition Is Still a Major Cause of Child Deaths

Bonko Diawara holds her 17-month-old daughter, Diarra Yattibere, as she recovers from malnutrition, at a nutrition center at Selibaby's hospital, in the Guidimakha region, Mauritania, June 2012.Bonko Diawara holds her 17-month-old daughter, Diarra Yattibere, as she recovers from malnutrition, at a nutrition center at Selibaby's hospital, in the Guidimakha region, Mauritania, June 2012.
x
Bonko Diawara holds her 17-month-old daughter, Diarra Yattibere, as she recovers from malnutrition, at a nutrition center at Selibaby's hospital, in the Guidimakha region, Mauritania, June 2012.
Bonko Diawara holds her 17-month-old daughter, Diarra Yattibere, as she recovers from malnutrition, at a nutrition center at Selibaby's hospital, in the Guidimakha region, Mauritania, June 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis
Malnutrition continues to be a major contributor of death in young children and infants. In a recent report in the Lancet medical journal, it was cited as the reason for 45-percent of child deaths worldwide.

International NGO’s are calling for world leaders to focus on nutrition when addressing economic issues.

The executive director of ONE, a grass roots campaign and advocacy organization, said that this year alone, two-million children will die because of a lack of proper nutrition.  Sipho Moyo, who is based in Johannesburg, added that malnutrition can lead to stunted growth.  It can also harm students’ performance in school – and ultimately, their ability to get a good job to support their families. ,

Moyo said because of this, more attention needs to be paid to nutrition, especially in the early stages of a child’s life.  She also emphasized the vital role nutrition plays in a country’s economy. 

“It’s actually become a health crisis which nobody remembers or looks at, and part of the reason is that there just isn’t enough money that is being invested in nutrition, and the needs of children of that age,” said Moyo.

Her organization, ONE, works specifically to help bring people out of poverty through policy change.

“When it comes to Africa, and the investment that goes into agricultural development, if you think about it, 70 percent of Africans actually derive their livelihoods from agriculture.  To begin to tackle poverty it is that 70 percent that you have to start with.  And what this really means, is that African governments must keep their commitments to investing in agriculture,” said Moyo.

In 2003, African governments signed the Maputo Agreement, which included a commitment to invest 10 percent of their national budgets in agriculture. Moyo said some growth has been noted over the years, but, more progress is needed.

“When you begin to invest in agriculture, and this means qualitative investment in agriculture, it’s not just about the dollars, it’s really about what are the targeted interventions within that budget that benefits smallholders,” explained Moyo.

She emphasized that it is important that African governments, in partnership with their donor partners, take the lead in investing within their own countries. 

“There is actually a serious need to invest in what I would call an African food revolution, and this is what we were asking the G8 for, during the Nutrition for Growth summit that took place last Saturday (June 8), in London. We need funding pledges to resource nutrition plans.  We’re also asking for finance and prioritization,” said Moyo. 

There are already some African-led initiatives underway such as the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa and Agriculture Development Program.  Moyo said the program needs additional investment to reduce malnutrition and poverty on the continent.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
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.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid