Posts Tagged: “Acute Malnutrition”

Advocating for Nutrition on the Shores of Lake Geneva

© WHO/Pierre Albouy

This blog post was written by Shawn Baker, Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, about his attendance at the 65th World Health Assembly last week to advocate for maternal, infant and young child nutrition. 

I arrived in the Geneva airport on a bright Sunday morning and an hour later greeted António Monteiro, former President of Cape Verde, and the West Africa Nutrition Advocate. He has joined HKI colleagues and me, and other partners working to improve nutrition, to attend the 65th World Health Assembly that will include a side event on acute malnutrition.

The World Health Assembly takes place in the majestic Palais des Nations, situated in a stunning park overlooking Lake Geneva. The grandeur of the Palais des Nations seems far removed from the front-lines of fighting malnutrition in Africa.

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Categories Africa, Reducing Malnutrition

Nutrition’s Time Has at Long Last Come

Kathy Spahn discusses her participation in the launch of IFPRI’s Global Food Policy Report, and the window of opportunity that has opened for nutrition
Global Food Policy Report

This blog is by Kathy Spahn, HKI’s President & CEO. Ms. Spahn was asked to speak about the rising profile of nutrition in the development agenda at the launch of IFPRI’s new flagship publication, the Global Food Policy Report.

On April 23rd I participated on a panel organized by IFPRI, the International Food Policy Research Institute, to launch their first Global Food Policy Report, a comprehensive report about major food policy developments and challenges of the past few years, and the outlook for 2012.

It’s an exciting time to be working in nutrition; at long last its star is on the rise. When I first joined Helen Keller International there weren’t many organizations like us or IFPRI that concentrated specifically on nutrition and its vital role in the health and development of nations. Over the past few years, beginning with the 2008 Lancet series, which highlighted the central links between nutrition and food security, to the more recent launch of the 1,000 Days campaign and the promotion of the Scale Up Nutrition (SUN) framework, it seems everyone is now thinking about nutrition. It’s even on the agenda of the World Economic Forum and the G8!

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Categories Reducing Malnutrition

Promoting Nutrition to Parliamentarians

HKI's Vice President and Regional Director for Africa makes that case for investing in nutrition
Vitamin A Supplementation

This blog post was written by Shawn Baker, Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, about his recent participation in the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) 126th Assembly in Kampala, Uganda.

First Ladies, Members of Parliament, a former Head of State – it is not often that you get to speak about nutrition to such an audience. I had the privilege of joining the West African Nutrition Advocate, the former President of Cape Verde, in Kampala, Uganda for the 126th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in early April.

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Categories Africa, Reducing Malnutrition

A 1,000 Day Window For a Lifetime of Health

Nepal Mother and Child

This post was written by Yesenia Garcia, Communications Coordinator for the 1,000 Days Partnership and appeared on the 1,000 Days Blog and defeatDD’s blog. Helen Keller International is a proud partner of the 1,000 Days movement.

The 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday represent a critical but short window of time to ensure a child’s future health and prosperity. Children who are well-nourished during this critical window reap a lifetime of benefits for themselves and their communities. The nutrition that a mother and her baby receive during these 1,000 days has a profound impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn and rise out of poverty.

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Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Reducing Malnutrition

How to Make a Difference: Meet HKI’s Jennifer Nielsen

An interview with HKI's Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health
Jennifer in Nepal

I often wonder how people actually get to live their dreams. I sat down recently with Jennifer Nielsen, Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health for Helen Keller International, and discovered someone who has actually done just that. Here is Jennifer’s story:

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Categories Africa, Helen Keller, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles

My Favorite Food

How One Community Prevents Malnutrition by Monitoring the Growth of its Children.
map_of_niger

Post by Douglas Steinberg, HKI’s Deputy Regional Director for West Africa.

In a recent visit to HKI’s work in Tsogal, Niger, replies to my queries about the harvest were not encouraging at all.

“Most families here have only harvested enough to feed their families for two months,” replied one farmer in the community. This year is shaping up to be much less bountiful than last year – but still better than the disastrous harvest of 2009. This is a time when young children are at risk of malnutrition.

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Categories Africa, Reducing Malnutrition

Devastation in Dadaab

Thousands of children require treatment for severe malnutrition.
MUAC measurement

A post by Issakha Diop, who is responding to the crisis in the Horn of Africa on behalf of Helen Keller International.

I am currently stationed in northeastern Kenya (260 miles northeast of Nairobi and 46 miles west of Somalia) at Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world. It was designed to provide temporary shelter for the 90,000 people fleeing from Somalia’s civil war in early 1990. As the war, drought, and insecurity continued in Somalia, the three camps in Dadaab – Ifo, Hagadera and Dagahaley – became home for over 450,000 people.

Today, 1,000 to 1,500 new people arrive each day because of the current drought and food crisis in East Africa.

Little Abdulay Sahal Mohamed from Somalia arrived with his family five days ago. His entire family – his parents and six other siblings – walked for 21 days before reaching a reception point at the Kenya/Somalia border to be transported to Dadaab by UNHCR.

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Ensuring the Quality of Nutritional Response in the Horn

This post was written by Issakha Diop, Helen Keller International’s West Africa coordinator for community-based management of acute malnutrition. In response to the crisis in East Africa, he has been seconded to UNICEF’s regional nutrition team.

The response to the crisis in the Horn of Africa has many dimensions. One of the responsibilities that my colleagues and I have is to ensure that the programs are implemented according to globally accepted standards.

Children in crisis, who have been deprived of adequate nutritious foods, are not only at risk of disease, but enter into a state of wasting as their bodies rapidly lose weight. Children who are severely wasted are 9 to 10 times more likely to die: they often lose their appetites, their bellies swell, and they are prone to a range of infections and micronutrient deficiencies. To help these children, we must screen them as soon as possible for malnutrition – and this screening must be done properly.

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A Health Clinic Opens in North Turkana

Northern Turkana

This is the second post by Jessica Blankenship, Ph.D., Helen Keller International’s Regional Micronutrient Advisor, as she chronicles HKI’s ongoing work in Kenya.

In the US, access to basic health care is seldom a concern in our daily lives. While equity of health care is under debate, there is no disagreement that children in the US do not often die from diarrhea, measles, malaria and pneumonia. In sub-Saharan Africa, however, these diseases cause 50% of under five child deaths or 4.5 deaths every minute of every day.

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Training Health Workers in Turkana

HKI helps implement a program providing daily food rations to those in need
Health worker in Turkana

This post was written by Jessica Blankenship, Ph.D., Helen Keller International’s Regional Micronutrient Advisor.

It is only a two-hour flight to Lodwar in the Turkana District of Kenya from Nairobi; however the differences between the two cities are striking. Lodwar is the capital of the arid district of Turkana, and the only reliable method to reach the town is by air as the roads leading from Nairobi have been battered by seasonal rains and years of neglect. Despite being the largest district in Kenya, Turkana is sparsely populated; bordered by the countries of Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia, it is mostly populated by pastoralists who graze their goats and camels on the sandy soil.

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Categories Africa, Reducing Malnutrition