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Nutrition, Health and Population 2009



Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Statistics Database

Nutrition, Health and Population Links

There are a number of key health issues for developing countries, especially in Africa.  They include malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and avian flu. This page provides current developments on these issues as well as background. 

Nutrition  See also Hunger Notes special report on the food and hunger crisis

HIV/AIDS

Other diseases and health problems

Nutrition

One third of children in Sikasso are underweight for their age, and for acute malnutrition, the rate in Sikasso was 16 percent, according to the most recent government survey. Photo: Phuong Tran/ IRIN

One third of children in Sikasso are underweight for their age, and for acute malnutrition, the rate in Sikasso was 16 percent, according to the most recent government survey. Photo: Phuong Tran/ IRIN

In Mali's richest region, Sikasso,  malnutrition is as high as in the country's barren north, due in large part to  concentration on cash crop, export-oriented production in the rich region IRIN News December 29, 2009

World cereal production is at its second-highest level ever, yet food prices remain very high. In Asia for example, prices are up 40-70 percent. Photo: Kamila Hyat/IRIN

World cereal production is at its second-highest level ever, yet food prices remain very high. In Asia for example, prices are up 40-70 percent. Photo: Kamila Hyat/IRIN

World hunger increases despite growth in food production  IRIN News November 12, 2009

200 million children under the age of five in the developing world suffer from chronic undernutrition, causing one-third of deaths in children under five, the United Nations Children's Fund says  BBC News November 11, 2009  Access UNICEF report and video


Key ways in which current farming practices harm the earth include loss of biodiversity, overuse of chemicals and pesticides, and loss of plant and animal habitat due to the expansion of farming. The loss of biodiversity as a result of current farming practices includes an estimated loss of  three-quarters of the genetic diversity in agricultural crops over the last century. Photo: Jane Some/IRIN

Feeding the world without harming it IRIN November 3, 2009 See Hunger Notes special report: Hunger, the environment and climate change 

Food experts worry as population and hunger grow Neil MacFarquhar New York Times October 21, 2009

Investing in the future: Rice and the global financial crisis Rice Today, Vol. 8, No. 1, January-March, 2009

Premier says China to ensure safe food Henry Sanderson Associated Press October 26, 2008

 Nutritional supplements and education are helping to save the lives of displaced children in the Central African Republic. Photo: © UNICEF 2007/CAR/ Holtz

 Nutritional supplements and education are helping to save the lives of displaced children in the Central African Republic. Photo: © UNICEF/Holtz

2008 Nutrition stories

HIV/AIDS

HIV infection, leading to AIDS, is a major world problem, especially in Africa. In addressing the problem of HIV infection, there have been major concerns.

The first major concern  is that  African people and  governments  have been unable to afford the level of care available in the United States and other developed countries, where (expensive) anti-retroviral therapy has not cured HIV/AIDS, but has permitted substantially longer life for those infected.  In the last several years this has been partially addressed by two major developments. First is a  significant increase in developed country assistance.  The second is the (partial) resolution of international property rights disputes over anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, which has permitted a substantial reduction in the cost of ARV drugs supplied in developing countries.

The second major concern is the persistence of behavior patterns that permit HIV infection. The three principal ways of HIV infection are by sexual contact, though blood transmission (by drug users sharing the same needle, and by medical procedures, especially blood transfusion, not adopting proper safeguards) and by mother to child transmission.  Sexual contact is the major means of HIV infection, with mother to child transmission a consequence of sexual contact.  HIV testing will alert HIV-positive people that they are HIV positive, and ideally they will take measures to protect their sexual partners against infection, and to not have children or to take measures to reduce the possibility of HIV infection in the newborn.

Slowed funding threatens AIDS fight, group says--recession, other factors causing international donors to pull back Karin Brulliard Washington Post November 5, 2009

Patients waited at a clinic in Khayelitsha, on the outskirts of Cape Town. South Africa has one of the world’s worst H.I.V. and tuberculosis epidemics. Photo: Joao Silva for The New York Times

Patients waited at a clinic in Khayelitsha, on the outskirts of Cape Town. South Africa has one of the world’s worst H.I.V. and tuberculosis epidemics. Photo: Joao Silva/New York Times

South African government embraces study very critical of its health policy  Celia W. Dugger New York Times  August 24, 2009 The Lancet articles on Health in South Africa

A 49-year-old man in the advanced stages of HIV has not told friends about his situation because of the social stigma attached to the disease. "The worst thing for me is the loneliness," he said. Two weeks after this photograph was taken, he died. For many people infected with HIV  in developing countries,  lack of nutritious food frequently speeds death, or, when anti-retroviral treatment for HIV is available, reduces the effectiveness of the treatment. Photo: International Herald Tribune

A 49-year-old man in the advanced stages of HIV has not told friends about his situation because of the social stigma attached to the disease. "The worst thing for me is the loneliness," he said. Two weeks after this photograph was taken, he died. For many people infected with HIV  in developing countries,  lack of nutritious food frequently speeds death, or, when anti-retroviral treatment for HIV is available, reduces the effectiveness of the treatment. Photo: International Herald Tribune

Dying, and alone, in Myanmar Seth Mydans New York Times March 31, 2009  Few resources, little hope, for those with HIV in Myanmar (Photo essay) New York Times March 31, 2009

Malawi AIDS patient.  The relatively low survival rate of 66% of those on drugs appears to be principally due to two factors: patients starting the treatment late or not having access to proper nutrition. Photo: IRIN News

Malawi AIDS patient.  The relatively low survival rate of 66% of those on drugs appears to be principally due to two factors: patients starting the treatment late or not having access to proper nutrition. Photo: IRIN News

Anti-retroviral drugs reduce AIDS deaths in Malawi: one-third of those infected taking drugs, with 66% survival rate thus far BBC News August 26,  2008 (You will leave this site.)  

As her t-shirt indicates, this Kenyan woman is taking anti-retroviral therapy.  US funding through PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) has supplied funding for 1.73 million people throughout the developing world, including Kenya. Photo: Waweru Mugo/IRIN

As her t-shirt indicates, this Kenyan woman is taking anti-retroviral therapy.  US funding through PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) has supplied funding for 1.73 million people throughout the developing world, including Kenya. Photo: Waweru Mugo/IRIN

Progress and setbacks in AIDS battle  Duncan Kennedy BBC News August 1, 2008 (You will leave this site.)   AIDS deaths down 10% in 2007  with greater access to treatment key factor, UN report says Thomas H. Maugh II Los Angeles Times July 30, 2008  AIDS funding binds longevity of millions to US David Brown Washington Post July 26, 2008 (You will leave this site.)

2008 HIV/AIDS stories

Other diseases and health problems

Nigeria, once the worst-afflicted country in the world with an estimated 653,000 cases in 1989, appears to be free of guinea worm disease, which is a painful parasitic infection transmitted to humans through a  water supply contaminated with guinea worm larvae. Photo: Vanessa Vick/New York Times

 Nigeria, once the worst-afflicted country in the world with an estimated 653,000 cases in 1989, appears to be free of guinea worm disease, which is a painful parasitic infection transmitted to humans through a  water supply contaminated with guinea worm larvae. Photo: Vanessa Vick/New York Times

Campaign to eradicate guinea worm in hard-hit Nigeria may have worked Donald G. McNeil Jr. New York Times  December 5, 2009 See more health stories

Africa population tops one billion BBC News November 18, 2009  Population explosion to stop Africa's attempt to attain MDGs AfriqueJet  November 18, 2009

Groundbreaking birth control bill that would make family planning services more widely available to poor people has powerful enemies in the Philippines Carlos H. Conde New York Times October 25, 2009 

Clinics may be free, but they are also very popular. The implementation of the much-acclaimed scheme has been dogged by lack of preparation - both in medical facilities and personnel. Photo: BBC

Health clinics may be free, but they are also very popular. The implementation of the much-acclaimed scheme has been dogged by lack of preparation - both in medical facilities and personnel. Photo: BBC

Burundi's struggle to provide free healthcare Prime Ndikumageng BBC News September 23, 2009

Rosaria Chimwaza, a health survey assistant, weighs a baby girl in a Malawi village as her 18-year-old mother looks on. The rate of decline in child mortality for Malawi and six other countries with the highest rates has been much steeper than the global average, according to an analysis by demographers. Perhaps Malawi's most powerful weapon against child mortality has been its ranks of more than 10,000 high-school-educated village health workers.  Photo: Moises Saman/New York Times

Rosaria Chimwaza, a health survey assistant, weighs a baby girl in a Malawi village as her 18-year-old mother looks on. The rate of decline in child mortality for Malawi and six other countries with the highest rates has been much steeper than the global average, according to an analysis by demographers. Perhaps Malawi's most powerful weapon against child mortality has been its ranks of more than 10,000 high-school-educated village health workers.  Photo: Moises Saman/New York Times

Child mortality rate declines globally Celia W. Dugger New York Times September 9, 2009

WHO warns swine flu is unstoppable BBC News July 3, 2009 WHO declares swine flu pandemic BBC News June 11, 2009

Mexico has ramped up its containment efforts.  Photo: BBC

Mexico has ramped up its containment efforts.  Photo: BBC

Mexico flu sparks global action BBC News April 23, 2009

Burkina Faso: largest measles outbreak in more than 10 years IRIN April 9, 2009

Zimbabwe diary: Fighting cholera   BBC News February 6, 2009 

Access to maternity care helps save lives. Photo BBC

Access to maternity care helps save lives. Photo BBC

Women in poor nations are 300 times more likely to die in childbirth or from pregnancy complications than those in the developed world, UNICEF warns  BBC News January 15, 2009 

Jemelleh Saccoh gets a glimpse of her new son. A short time later, she had died of complications -- the fate of 1 in 8 women during childbirth in Sierra Leone. Photo: Carol Guzy/Washington Post

Jemelleh Saccoh gets a glimpse of her new son. A short time later, she had died of complications -- the fate of 1 in 8 women during childbirth in Sierra Leone. Photo: Carol Guzy/Washington Post

A mother's final look at life. In impoverished Sierra Leone, childbirth kills one in eight women. Kevin Sullivan Washington Post October 12, 2008

Worldwide measles eradication target unlikely to be reached--European nations major part of the problem BBC News January 7, 2008 Number of children immunized has been inflated for years David Brown Washington Post  December 9, 2008

2008 other diseases and health problem stories

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