| Nov 7, 2016
The Stunted Children of India
Hi!, this is Neelam, the project nurse with the community health team.
Well we all enjoyed Diwali and it is the time of chhach which is the festival concerning the worship of the sun and is practised here especially in Bihar mostly by women.
Every time I travel in India I see the progress made in our great nation but coming back to Bihar is like travelling back in time, so much poverty here and the development that is taking place does not benefit the millions of people struggling below the poverty line. We see this every single day and one of the biggest problems is underfed children.
This is from the newspaper business today in India
"Why are so many Indian children short for their age, or stunted? Cognisant of the country’s nutrition problem, especially among children, the Government has made concerted efforts to get food to children and their families through various initiatives. India has undoubtedly made progress about child undernutrition with stunting rates dropping from 48 per cent in 2006 to 38.7 per cent in 2015. Yet India continues to be home to a staggering 48 million stunted children under age 5 — the highest in the world, many in the country’s poorest state, Bihar.
Stunting, where children are short for their age, results from severe and persistent undernutrition. While the lack of nutritious food significantly contributes to undernutrition, the World Health Organization estimates that half of all undernutrition is associated with diarrhoea and infections resulting from unsafe water and sanitation, and unhealthy hygiene behaviours. Repeated diarrhoea in the first two years of life directly contributes to a quarter of all cases of stunting, with WASH responsible for a majority 88 percentage of all diarrhoea cases. WASH contributes to diarrhoea through several key routes. First, when people lack access to adequate sanitation, they often defecate in the open, polluting water sources used for drinking, cooking, and washing purposes. When people don’t have access to safe drinking water or resources to make water safe, they end up consuming contaminated water. And lastly, when people do not have awareness about the importance of hygiene or access to adequate hygiene facilities such as water and soap, they may not wash their hands at critical times like after defecation and before they eat, which leads to germs entering their bodies and their children’s bodies when they prepare and eat food.
Children who drink unclean water contaminated by faecal matter, or are unable to wash their hands after defecating and before eating are vulnerable to diarrhoea, intestinal worm and other infections. What is particularly harmful about these conditions is that they prevent a child’s intestines from absorbing nutrients, preventing physical and cognitive growth. Research suggests that children can become stunted if they experience five or more cases of diarrhoea before their second birthday. Stunting is irreversible after age two, and its effects are long-lasting in terms of educational performance, health, and future potential".
From business today India October 2016
I want to thank you all for your donations to help us bring a nutritious meal to all the children of the village, and I can tell you that the children there are growing at normal levels. Thanks to you.
If you are thinking of giving another donation ot recommending this project to others, please make it on Giving Tuesday 29th November as Global Giving has a record amount of matching funds which will make your donation go much further and help us feed many more children.
Please kindly make a note of it and, once again thank you,