As the saying goes, “experience creates perfectness”, this has made Strive Foundation Rwanda to define mul-nutrition using its own experience and perfection at the field work.
Malnutrition means more than starving or not having enough food to eat. Scant intake of proteins (necessary to keep the body healthy and build muscle), calories (a measure of energy the body needs), iron (for proper blood cell function), and other nutrients make up different types of malnutrition. Poor nutrition occurs in developing countries, as well as in more prosperous areas of the world. As many as 800 million persons worldwide are affected by malnutrition. More than half the childhood deaths in emerging countries are related to malnutrition.
For rural and poor families around this globe, hunger means more than going to bed with an empty stomach. Getting the right kind of food at different stages of life can mean the difference between becoming a healthy adult or not.
Growing up malnourished can inhibit development, make it hard to focus in school, and later contribute to complications during pregnancy.
What are the root causes of hunger and malnutrition? And how does it affect the different stages of a person’s life?
“Many young girls drop out of school in this area because of poverty, get married and are usually ill-prepared to look after the children and themselves. This has led them to abandon their children with the old mothers and fear to breastfeed adequately for fear of their breasts sagging hence the high cases of malnutrition among young children”, said Nyirahategimana Anathaline, Mwezi Health Center`s nutritionist.
Through conducting cooking demonstration alongside targeted messages on health and nutrition it’s with high hopes that mothers` perceptions and skills regarding practical feeding and food preparation techniques would help in scaling up actions aimed at fighting against malnutrition.
“Generally, you want to make sure that the food is safe, and that you’re using clean water to wash the food. Introducing fruits, vegetables and dairy products is also important,” said Charles Omoya, nutritionist Strive Foundation Rwanda in Nyamasheke District. “In many places, there’s a reliance on a staple grain, but we want to make sure that’s not the only thing.”
Strive Foundation Rwanda currently operates in various livelihoods projects around the country. This work helps individuals and families meet their own food needs and improves access and availability of healthy foods in their communities.
Tackling hunger will take more than just producing enough food. Poverty is a key factor that leads to malnutrition around the world. A person’s economic status plays a critical role on the rate of food consumed by a household, or to feed a family.
So we must ensure that people have the nutrients they need to stay healthy and also the right support and tools to build a stronger economic future for them-selves.