Starving children in Africa are highly vulnerable to disease. When malnutrition weakens a child, common illnesses become life-threatening. See how one child survived thanks to the caring professionals at a hospital supported by Save the Children’s donors.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 28 million children are experiencing stunted growth due to malnutrition. Stunting prevents children from developing to their full mental and physical potential, which is largely irreversible.
Stunting is not the only form of malnutrition that affects children. Children with severe acute malnutrition, the deadliest condition of extreme hunger, can succumb to the disease in just a few days. Children who die in this way suffer immensely as their vital organ functions slow down and eventually stop.
Why is a two-meal program inadequate in Africa?
First, the two-meal plan is based on a conservative estimate of protein requirements because much of it comprises complex carbs and fiber. While there are cases where a two-meal diet can be adequate, it is generally insufficient for people with energy needs of 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day. The protein requirement is exceptionally high in sub-Saharan Africa, where the average energy intake is around 1,500 calories daily. Second, people in Africa have meager rates of nutrient uptake.
Read More: How to Improve Childhood Nutrition and oral Health
Help Save Children in Africa.
Save the Children has worked in Africa for more than 60 years. Today, with millions of children and families in Africa struggling to cope with the impacts of conflict and climate change, COVID-19 is another shock undermining their livelihoods and pushing them toward acute hunger and malnutrition.
In places like South Sudan and the Sahel, the ongoing conflict has hindered families’ access to food for years. Across East and Southern Africa, climate change has triggered harsher and more frequent droughts.
At Ryvanz-Mia Charity, there are ways to get involved with us and help us in our cause; check our volunteer opportunities, where you can directly affect the vulnerable children we serve. We also appreciate those who may not have the time but have the money to make a financial difference. If you want to learn more about what is happening, visit our blog page. We need your help and support.