Traditional Birth Attendants who received Essential Nutrition Training through HKI. Photo: c. HKI
This blog was written by HKI Bangladesh field intern, Hannah Taylor.
The thousand days between conception and a child’s second birthday is the most crucial period for physical development. During this time, appropriate nutrition for the mother and child, including the right quantity of energy-rich foods and a diverse diet of micronutrients, helps to ensure healthy physical growth and development. However, inadequate nutrition during this stage of a child’s development has severe health consequences lasting into adulthood. Undernourished children face higher risks of blindness, anemia, thyroid diseases, acute and chronic infections and the potential for lifelong stunting. While Bangladesh has seen significant improvement in infant mortality and undernutrition in children in the last two decades, the International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Bangladesh estimates that 41% of children under five years old in Bangladesh remain underweight.
This blog was written by HKI-Cambodia field intern Caitlin Gruer.
Photo c. HKI
A few weeks ago I blogged about my experience going into the field with the HKI Cambodia team to interview participants in our Micronutrient Powder program (read about it here). During the trip I was able to speak to many inspiring women involved in the program, and I thought that I would take this opportunity to share some of their stories.
The goal of the micronutrient power (MNP) program is to reduce micronutrient deficiencies and malnutrition prevalence, and to help keep children healthy. It is an in-home fortification program in which mothers receive sachets of MNP powder to add to their babies’ food to ensure that it is adequately nutritious. The mothers are also educated about complementary feeding, and infant and young child feeding practices by village health volunteers.
Salamata is a community leader, farmer, mother, and grandmother.
In her village in Burkina Faso in western Africa, Ouoba Salamata is a Grandmother—with a capital “G.” Not only does she care for her immediate family, but also for her entire village. And, like many grandmothers – with a small “g”, she has lived a life filled with hard work, sacrifice, and boundless love for her family.
Wherever I travel, the faces of everyday heroes become imprinted in my memory. I recently returned from a visit to Helen Keller International’s programs in Burkina Faso where I met Salamata, a hard-working, brave member of her village. When I saw how she has utilized HKI’s programs to transform life for her entire community, I knew I had to share her inspiring story with you.
Tags: Breastfeeding, Burkina Faso, Complementary Feeding, Essential Nutrition Actions, Gardens, Homestead Food Production, Kathy Spahn, Mother's Day, Reducing Malnutrition, Sweetpotatoes, Vitamin A
Categories Africa, Reducing Malnutrition
This blog post was written by Anitra Sprauten. Anitra graduated from Bowdoin College in 2012 with a degree in Government & Legal Studies and French. Originally from New York, she is finishing up the academic year as an English teaching assistant at the University of Western Brittany in France. She hopes to return working with INGOs to improve standards of public education and public health in less economically developed countries.
Overlooking Kroo Bay in Freetown
Overlooking the city from a steep hill in Tengbeh Town, the Helen Keller International (HKI) office in Freetown, Sierra Leone is frequented by visitors from many sectors. HKI does a wonderful job of coordinating its efforts with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and other non-governmental organizations, so while the office itself is not very large, its reach spans the entire country.
For many, Sierra Leone is a country of extreme hardship. Maternal and child mortality rates are very high and the general population lives with very little income. However, residents of Freetown have a profound entrepreneurial spirit, and those who do not have steady employment work as petty traders. The city experienced a rapid boom of urbanization, and as the population continues to grow, Freetown continues to catch up.
In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, HKI's Jennifer Nielsen talks about her work promoting exclusive breastfeeding.
This post was written by Jennifer Nielsen.
My job as HKI’s Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health is, in some ways, not unlike that of advertising executive. I sell a product. In my case, the product is not fancy shoes or designer jeans, but healthy nutrition practices. Getting people to change their behaviors, even when it will improve their health, is not always easy (think of all the anti-smoking campaigns you have seen and how many people still smoke).
One of HKI’s key nutrition goals is to persuade mothers to feed their infants nothing but breast milk for the first 6 months of life, or as we like to say in the trade, to “exclusively breastfeed.” There are often cultural beliefs and traditions that prevent mothers from adopting this healthy practice, and it is my job to overcome these barriers and convince new moms that breast is truly best.
This post was written by Victoria Quinn, HKI’s Senior Vice President of Programs. It is part of a series of blogs on The Huffington Post by leading NGOs to call attention to a range of issues that should be raised at the G8 summit at Camp David in rural Maryland from May 18-19.
There is a time in a child’s life that has a profound impact on her ability to grow, learn and rise out of poverty. It’s the 1,000 day window beginning with a mother’s pregnancy through to her child’s 2nd birthday. During this critical 1,000 days, ensuring that mothers and children have proper nutrition can have a profound impact not only on the individual but also on the long-term health, stability, and development of entire communities and nations.
Tags: Biofortification, Breastfeeding, Burkina Faso, Complementary Feeding, Essential Nutrition Actions, Gardens, Maternal Nutrition, Sweetpotatoes, Victoria Quinn, Vitamin A
Categories Africa, Reducing Malnutrition
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.