Vitamin a Day Campaign: Highlight on Child Malnourishment

AS WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR VITAMIN A DAY CAMPAIGN, THIS BLOG IS A QUICK SNAPSHOT INTO THE ISSUE OF CHILD MALNOURISHMENT IN GUATEMALA. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS EFFORT, PLEASE CLICK BELOW TO DONATE!

What is Malnourishment?

Contrary to popular belief, malnourishment is not the same as starvation, the word simply means ‘bad’ or inappropriate nourishment. Malnourishment refers to “deficiencies, excesses or imbalances” in nutrient intake. (WHO 2016) This term is most commonly used to refer to deficiencies in essential macro and/or micronutrients.

What are the Statistics?

  • 43% of Guatemalan children under 5 are chronically malnourished
  • 46% of children suffer from stunting
  • These numbers jump to 83% and 90% in indigenous children

These numbers are staggeringly high

What are the Causes?

  • Food and water crises in Guatemala leading to low availability to nutritious food and clean water
  • Limited diet consisting largely of staples and lacking food containing essential nutrients
  • Drug shortage resulting in limited accessibility to supplements

What are the Consequences?

  • Severe Immune system damage resulting in susceptibility to disease
  • Growth stunting
  • Intellectual, emotional and mental deficits
  • Lifelong health complications

The most severe damage is sustained when malnourishment occurs within the first 2 years of life and can result in prolonged health effects

What are some Solutions?

  • Food fortification
  • Supplementation with multivitamins
Part of a 2018 HLH shipment of children’s multivitamins

What is the Campaign for?

$500 CAD can supply the Impact Ministries’ school with 25,000 multivitamins. This will provide a vitamin a day for each child at the school for a little less than a month. Our goal is to send one package of this size, every quarter in 2019, which will supply half of what is needed for the entire school year.

The mission of HLH is to increase accessibility to medications and supplies for healthcare facilities in Guatemala. If you are interested in hearing more about the work we are doing, or in connecting with us, you can visit our website, check out our instagram or facebook, or sign up to receive our newletters. If you would like to support us in our work, please donate here.

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