STARVING AFRICAN CHILD / HUNGRY CHILDREN IN AFRICA : CAUSES, SOLUTION AND PREVENTION
Children are the spice of life. Their innocence melts our hearts. June 16 of every year is the day set aside to celebrate the African Child. However in th dark continent, a lot of children are starving, this brought up the topic ” Starving African Child , Hungry Children in Africa : Causes, Solution and Prevention “.
However on the continent, a lot of children are starving. About 23 million children of primary school age attend classes starving. Over 53 million children in Africa that have stunted growth due to malnutrition as at 2013.
IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION
Proper nutrition is essential for healthy growth. Research has shown that nutritious food in adequate amounts for the first 1000 days of a child’s life, i.e from pregnancy to the child’s second birthday. This is very fundamental for the child’s physical and mental growth. Proper nutrition ensures proper organ formation, a strong immune system and a sharp mind.
Starving African Child , Hungry Children in Africa Image : Unicef
FACTS ON CHILD MALNUTRITION IN RELATION TO THE STARVING AFRICAN CHILD AND HUNGRY CHILDREN IN AFRICA
It is true that poverty is one of the leading causes of child malnutrition. However, child malnutrition also leads to poverty. This is because malnutrition affects brain function and prevents the children from leading productive lives as adults.
There has been progress in mitigating child malnutrition in the past 25 years. However, about 23 million children of primary school age attend classes starving. Child mortality in Africa is the highest in the world with 90 out of 1000 children dying before the age of five due to malnutrition.
Child hunger brings about stunting, being underweight and wasting.
Stunting is a condition whereby children are far below the standard height for their age affecting their brain function. There are over 53 million children on the continent that have stunted growth due o malnutrition as at 2013.
About 33 million children on the continent are underweight, having a weight that is very much below the standard weight for their ages as at 2013.
Similar studies carried out at 2013, showed that almost 17 million children in Africa had a height-to-weight ratio that was significantly below the standard for their ages, a condition known as ‘wasting’. About 5.6 million children in Africa were severely wasted. Research has also shown that children suffering from stunting, that are underweight or that are wasting are at a greater risk of illness and death.
Efforts are still ongoing by unicef and nongovernmental organizations to further reduce starvation in children and hence child mortality.
CAUSES OF STARVING CHILDREN IN AFRICA / HUNGRY CHILDREN IN AFRICA
Poverty : This is the leading cause of child hunger. The continent has one of the highest rates of poverty in the world. About 41% of the population live below $1 daily. This brings about child starvation.
2. LACK OF INFRASTRUCTURE
Lack of Infrastructure : a lot of children go hungry because of inadequate infrastructure. In places where there is abundance of food, there are little or no roads linking the farms to the areas where they are to be consumed. This creates food scarcity, leaving children at the receiving end.
Gender Inequality : In some parts of the continent, women do most of the agricultural work. However they do not have access to enough food. Such women do not have enough to feed their children, bringing about child malnutrition .
Diseases : The prevalence of diseases such as AIDS in Africa is one of the major causes of child hunger. Due to AIDS, many children are left orphaned at a very young age with no choice but to fend for themselves. In most cases, children are unable to do so causing them to starve.
War and Conflict : It is a known fact that women and children are at the receiving end during wars and conflict. There is shortage of food leaving many children hungry and malnourished.
PREVENTION AND SOLUTIONS TO STARVING AFRICAN CHILD AND HUNGRY CHILDREN IN AFRICA
- The government should work hard in ensuring that the welfare of citizens are well taken care of. This should be done through the execution of capital projects that would boost the economy.
- Provision of good access roads that link the farms to consumption areas by the government.
- Introduction of policies that mitigate gender inequality and discrimination.
- Sensitization of the public on ways to prevent and other diseases such as AIDS.
- Dialogue should be embraced instead of war.
- Realization that the government cannot do it alone, so they should be willing to partner with private and non governments organizations. The public should offer their support and cooperation too.
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