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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

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

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  

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