by Ramona Ridolfi
HKI and WorldFish International Women’s Day event. Photo: c. HKI
Rooted in the centuries-old struggle for gender equality, International Women’s Day celebrates ordinary women as makers of history.
In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8th as the United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
Since then this special day has integrated a new global dimension: the growing international women’s movement. This movement has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, and International Women’s Day has evolved to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.
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 Hannah Taylor, a field intern with HKI Bangladesh.
Women in Bangladesh benefit from HKI's Project Laser Beam. Photo: c. HKI
I recently joined the HKI Bangladesh team as a Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition intern as part of my Masters of Public Health program with Columbia University. Like any start to a new adventure in life, I set goals for what I hoped to accomplish for myself and for the team, and I made plans for my future. During a visit to HKI’s Project Laser Beam in the Southern regions of Bangladesh, I found a few women who were also making big plans for their future and looking to learn from HKI as well.
This blog was originally written by Ramona Ridolfi, the Gender Advisor at HKI Bangladesh.
Last week I had the pleasure to attend the third Women Deliver Conference, one of the largest world conferences of the decade focused on the health and well-being of girls and women, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Women Deliver brought together more than 4,500 leaders and advocates, representing over 2,200 organisations and 149 countries, over a three-day event.
This blog post was originally written by Victoria Quinn for the Huffington Post. View original post.
Measuring malnutrition in Mali. Photo c. HKI/Bartay
In May 2012 I wrote a piece for The Huffington Post about the need for G8 leaders to position strategies for preventing malnutrition high on the agenda for their annual summit. Back then I wrote, “indicators of child malnutrition, such as height, reflect much more accurately than gross domestic product whether development progress has truly been achieved in a country. Chronic malnutrition reduces not only the productivity of that specific individual, but also their entire community and country.”
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.
Amy Diallo is from the small village of Pout, which lies about 30 miles east of Dakar, Senegal’s ocean-side capital. The commercial farms in this region produce watermelon, coconut, grapefruit and mango – a colorful bounty that is out of reach for the average family in Senegal, where more than half the population lives in poverty. Instead, families commit scarce resources to staples like rice that fill empty bellies but lack essential micronutrients that protect the immune system and help children grow.
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 is the second blog post from 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.
We were all holding our breath waiting to find out the outcome of the Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) comprehensive implementation plan. So much of what HKI promotes is central to this plan, so it was critical that the resolution be passed. It was a real cliff-hanger – but in the final hours of Friday’s debates at the 65th World Health Assembly the plan was adopted unanimously – a real victory for nutrition and the timing couldn’t be better.