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Nutrition, Health and Population

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

Hunger and Nutritiion Facts
Nutrition, Health and Population Links
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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 

HIV/AIDS

Other diseases and health concerns

Nutrition

Every dollar spent on childhood nutrition can save up to $166, new study finds  Bjorn Lomborg The Guardian November 28, 2014

Baby being fed baby food. Photo: Paul Sakuma/AP Photo

What you eat in the first year of your life can affect what you crave for the rest of it. Photo: Paul Sakuma/AP Photo

The stark difference between what poor babies and rich babies eat: Poor children often are fed foods that help establish long-lasting, unhealthful eating patterns Roberto A Ferdman Washington Post November 4, 2014

Two women, each with one chlild,  and a man in an African agricultural field. Photo: FIAN International

Women play an important role in guaranteeing sufficient food supply for their families. They are among the stakeholders whose voice needs to be heard in the debate on nutrition. Photo: FIAN International

Democratizing the fight against malnutrition Geneviève Lavoie-Mathieu Inter Press Service November 27, 2014 See more nutrition stories

Cover of Food and Nutrition in Numbers by the FAO

FAO releases "Food and Nutrition in Numbers"  FAO November 17, 2014.  See full report (249 page PDF) See video Nutrition: A public issue See more nutrition stories

Global Nutrition Report says every nation except China has crossed a "malnutrition red line", suffering from too much or too little nutrition Mark Kinver BBC News November 13, 2014 Access full report

World hunger falls, but number of undernourished remains ‘unacceptably high’—joint UN report UN News Centre September 16, 2014 Access full report: The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014

Hindu devotees bathed in the polluted waters of the Ganges River in Varanasi, India. Photo: Daniel Berehulak/New York Times

Hindu devotees bathed in the polluted waters of the Ganges River in Varanasi, India. Millions of pilgrims bathe along Varanasi’s ancient riverfront, but a stream of human waste flows directly into the river just above the bathing ghats, steps leading down to the river. Photo: Daniel Berehulak/New York Times

Poor sanitation in India may affect well-fed children with malnutrition Gardiner Harris New York Times July 13, 2014

The 2013 Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index  ranks governments according to commitment: green is high or moderate, orange is low and red is very low. Photograph: Institute of Development Studies

Which 7 countries are most committed to ending hunger? In a recently published index, researchers analysed the political commitment to hunger and nutrition of 45 developing countries Dolf te Lintelo Guardian Professional July 3, 2014 See the index. See more nutrition stories

“Toxic stress”, a relentless cycle of stress inflicted on a child whose parents may be battling to survive, unable to nurture it properly; or where there may be violence, neglect and/or poor nutrition, can result in negative patterning on the baby’s brain that can inhibit intellectual and emotional growth Philippa Garson IRIN News July 6, 2014

Man selling fortified biscuits in store in Afghanistan. Photo: Khalid Nahez/IRIN

 Fortified biscuits on sale in Afghanistan—getting to the consumer is the trick. Photo: Khalid Nahez/IRIN

Fortified food—persuading the private sector to do good IRIN News April 18, 2014 Biofortified tortillas to provide micronutrients in Latin America Fabiola Ortiz Inter Press Service April 17, 2014 See more nutrition and health stories

Children in Namibia eat a meal made from products sourced from their field. Photo: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN

Home-grown solutions are cheap and effective: Children in Namibia eat a meal made from products sourced from their field. Photo: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN

Call for shakeup in Africa nutrition research IRIN News February 24, 2014

Obesity rate for young children plummets 43 percent in a decade Sabrina Tavernise New York Times February 25, 2014 Obesity found to gain its hold in earliest years Gina Kolata New York Times January 29, 2014

Malnourished Sudanese boy

Malnourished Sudanese boy Photo: Getty Images

Does a child die of hunger every 10 seconds? Ruth Alexander BBC News June 17, 2013

Nutrition 'must be a global priority', say researchers as malnutrition is implicated in 45 percent of child deaths Helen Briggs BBC News June 5, 2013  Access the report

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.

                      Global prevalence of HIV 2009

Grey: No data  or <.1% .Light pink: 1% – <.5% .Darker Pink 5% – <1% Darkest pink/very light red: 1% – <5% Red: 5% – <15% >Darkest red15% – 28%

Source:  UN AIDS Report 2010 Ch. 2 Epidemic http://www.unaids.org/documents/20101123_GlobalReport_Chap2_em.pdf

Man in Ugandan demonstration holding up poster that says "No to the Ugandan illegal anti-homosexuality bill." Photo: Kaytee Riek/Flickr

Briefing: Punitive aid cuts disrupt healthcare in Uganda IRIN News April 2, 2014 Ugandan police raid US-financed health project in what appeared to be the first public action to enforce a new anti-homosexuality law Associated Press New York Times April 5, 2014 See more development assistance stories. See more nutrition and health stories Also see Funding for 10,000 childen lost in 2 days as a result of World Vision's decision to allow hiring of married gay people Matthew Paul Turner April 3, 2014

New HIV cases falling in some poor nations, but treatment still lags Donald G McNeil Jr New York Times November 20, 2012

Other diseases and health concerns

"For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?" - Jeremiah 8:21-22  

James Hamilton, chief gravedigger at King Tom cemetary in Freetown, sits by a tree with his spade.  Photo: Samuel Aranda for The New York Times

James Hamilton, chief gravedigger at King Tom cemetary in Freetown, said of burying Ebola victims in Sierra Leone, “We will need much more space.” The Ebola epidemic is spreading rapidly in Sierra Leone’s densely packed capital — and it may already be far worse than the authorities acknowledge. Photo: Samuel Aranda for The New York Times

Out of control: How the world's health organizations failed to stop the Ebola disaster Lena H. Sun, Brady Dennis, Lenny Bernstein and Joel Achenbach Washington Post October 4, 2014. Ebola cases could reach 1.4 million within 4 months, CDC estimates Denise Grady New York Times September 23, 2014 With Ebola crippling the health system, Liberians die of routine medical problems Lenny Bernstein Washington Post September 20, 2014

Ebola is taking a second toll, on economies Adam Nossiter New York Times September 5, 2014 Ebola could strike 20,000, world health agency says Nick Cumming-Bruce and Alan Cowell New York Times August 28, 2014

USAID, partners target preventable deaths. New efforts unveiled to save millions of women, children Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church July 11, 2014

A new toilet for girl students at a school in Murshidabad district in the eastern Indian state West Bengal. Photo: Sulabh International/IPS.

A new toilet for girl students at a school in Murshidabad district in the eastern Indian state West Bengal. Photo: Sulabh International/IPS.

When not to go to school Ranjita Biswas Inter Press Service April 19, 2014

CIA: No more vaccination campaigns in spy operations Lena H Sun Washington Post May 19, 2014 Polio's return after near eradication prompts global health warning  Donald G McNeil Jr  New York Times May 5, 2014  Disease of Pakistan's poor now worries the affluent Saba Imtiaz and Declan Walsh New York Times May 10, 2014

Woman, with child, sweeping floor.  Photo: Washington Post

Religious leaders in Senegal stymie birth control: In the majority-Muslim society, many men have multiple wives and large numbers of children. Religious leaders, who wield great influence, reject family planning as interfering with the divine order, and family planning advocates are under suspicion because of foreign funding.  Photo: Washington Post

Family planning program in Senegal drawn into conflict with religious leaders Allyn Gaestel Washington Post March 15, 2014 See more nutrition and health stories

Niger's "remarkable"  progress in reducing child deaths IRIN News February 27, 2014

South Sudan: 'One of the most dangerous places to give birth'  (video)  BBC News February 25, 2014

Residents of Clara Town, a low-income neighbourhood of Monrovia, Liberia, face sanitation challenges with the onset of the rainy season. Photo: Travis Lupick/IPS

Residents of Clara Town, a low-income neighbourhood of Monrovia, Liberia, face sanitation challenges with the onset of the rainy season. Photo: Travis Lupick/IPS

UN focuses on faltering goals: water, sanitation, energy Thalif Deen Inter Press Service February 19, 2014

Vaccine aide gunned down in Pakistan Salmon Masgood New York Times December 28, 2013

Polio drive to target millions in Horn of Africa IRIN News November 18, 2013 20 milion in Mideast to get polio vaccine Donald G. McNeill Jr New York Times November 11, 2013 

  2013 Nutrition, Health and Population    Hunger Notes Home Page