This post was written by Jennifer Nielsen, HKI’s Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health. It is part of a series of blogs organized by The Huffington Post and the NGO alliance InterAction to call attention to the crisis in the Sahel, a region in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 18 million people face starvation and 1.1 million children under the age of 5 are at risk of dying from acute malnutrition.
Although my e-mail is flooded with messages detailing the political, economic and climactic forces precipitating a hunger crisis in the Sahel, the story is strikingly absent from the news reaching most Americans. But because my work in the region has helped me see these vulnerable families as if they were my own, I am anguished by the situation.
An interview with HKI's Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health
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:
Tags: Acute Malnutrition, Breastfeeding, Burkina Faso, Complementary Feeding, Essential Nutrition Actions, Food Security, Homestead Food Production, Maternal Nutrition, Nepal, Niger, Sweetpotatoes, Tanzania
Categories Africa, Helen Keller, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles
NY Times Journalist Nicholas Kristof visits a flour mill where there's more than meets the eye.
HKI’s Shawn Baker and Douglas Steinberg are currently hosting NY Times Journalist, Nicholas Kristof, and the two winners of his “Win-A-Trip” contest – Saumya Dave, who studied writing at Columbia University and medicine at Medical College of Georgia, and Noreen Connolly, a teacher from Newark, NJ – as they travel throughout Senegal, Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso.
Shawn and Doug will be blogging throughout the week sharing their insights and experiences as they travel with Kristof uncovering stories in public health. The first post, written by Shawn, is below.
An interview with HKI's Senior Vice President of Programs
Have you ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat?” In working for Helen Keller International, I’ve come to realize that this simple adage can mean different things to different people. In America, we often say it when we’re talking about losing weight. In developing countries, this simple phrase becomes a powerful reminder of the life and death impact nutrition can have on the lives of millions of people, especially young children. No one understands the importance of nutrition better than Dr. Victoria Quinn, HKI’s Senior Vice President of Programs. I met with Victoria recently to learn more about her background in nutrition and her views on the importance of nutrition on world health.
Tags: Bangladesh, Behavior Change, Essential Nutrition Actions, Food Security, Gardens, Homestead Food Production, Maternal Nutrition, Victoria Quinn
Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Helen Keller, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles
HKI to test efficacy of Golden Rice to prevent vitamin A deficiency
This post was written by Nancy Haselow, Helen Keller International’s Vice President and Regional Director for Asia. It also appeared on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website.
Imagine living in Bangladesh and eating little more than a bowl of rice or two each day. Rice has been part of your diet since you were a child, and you feed it to your children because it’s filling, inexpensive and accessible. Aside from small helpings of vegetables or legumes or the occasional piece of chicken, rice is your primary food source.
Rice has calories, but it has minimal additional nutritional value. A diversified diet that includes nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables (and, preferably, animal source foods such as chicken and eggs) is necessary to prevent sight- and life-threatening deficiencies, including vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of childhood blindness, leaving approximately 350,000 children blind every year. Young children with vitamin A deficiency also have impaired immune systems; a condition which increases the risk of death from certain common childhood infections and claims the lives of 670,000 children each year who live in less developed countries.
Understanding the food crisis’ effect on nutrition
This post was written by HKI’s Vice President and Regional Director for Africa, Shawn Baker.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recently announced that food prices have hit a record high. This new surge in food prices has garnered considerable media attention. From articles in the Guardian to The New York Times, people are discussing the reasons for this increase and the effect it will have on the world’s population. Many even think high food prices have sparked the recent wave of political upheaval across North Africa. However, very little attention has been paid to the far more devastating and pernicious impact that the increase in food prices is having on the general public.
An HKI expert speaks about food security and nutrition
“Bridging the Divide: Water Scarcity, Food Security and Health” and “What are the Major Problems in Terms of Food and Nutrition Confronting Humanity, and What Solutions Would Best Address These Problems?” These hefty questions were posed to Victoria Quinn, HKI’s Senior Vice President of Programs, at McGill’s Third Conference on Global Food Security in October.
Homestead Food Production in Bangladesh
Working for an organization with programs that reduce malnutrition (and prevent blindness), as Helen Keller International’s do, has some tasty benefits.
I am traveling with a film crew from Digital Development Communications to create videos of Helen Keller International’s programs in Bangladesh. Our journey has taken us to the southern area of Barisal division, in the sub-district of Barguna. We are working with local partners to implement our Homestead Food Production programs and to establish or re-establish livelihoods destroyed during Cyclone Sidr in 2007.
A famine in Niger is threatening the lives of nearly 400,000 children.
Right now a humanitarian crisis is devastating the lives of millions. But you may not have heard of it. It’s neither the terrible earthquake in Haiti nor the destructive flooding in Pakistan. In the fragile country of Niger, located in sub-Saharan Africa, a food crisis – a famine actually – is affecting over 7 million people, or half of the country’s total population. Children – as many as 400,000 − are dying from starvation and diseases exacerbated by malnutrition.