Discuss how hunger and malnutrition influence the health and development of communities .Then explain how community participation and national political commitment can help to address the effects of hunger and malnutrition ?. Firstly I will describe health, hunger and malnutrition , then discuss the social , physical and economic effects of hunger and malnutrition and illustrate how hunger and malnutrition are linked. I will explain community participation and show how it links to primary health care and the political commitment and .I will conclude by giving examples of community participation and national political commitment and as well as insight opinion as to how they can address the effect of hunger and malnutrition to improve the lives of those affected. “Health the state of complete physically ,mentally and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity “ (United Nations 1974:4) health designates process of adaptation ,It designates the ability to adapt to changing environments and embraces the future.
Hunger is a condition in which people do not get enough food to provide the nutrients for example carbohydrates ,fats proteins and minerals. Hunger occurs in three forms. 1. Acute –the starving skinned bones at this stage death is a loaming reality 2. Chronic hunger-is characterized by a constant lack of access to food of sufficient quality and quantity as well as lack of good health care and caring practices . 3. Hidden hunger –results from quality diet ,lack of balanced diet food and to lesser extent illness which will reduce appetite affects the body’s ability to use key nutrients. Malnutrition refers to improper consumption of food ,it is most commonly used to refer to under nutrition. Malnutrition mostly affect the poor but it is not just a problem among the poor ,it is about vulnerability not poverty . The social effect of hunger and malnutrition ,is the premature death and disability wreck havoc upon social institutions ,familial ties and civil society .Malnourished children endure poorer educational prospects than those who are well-fed ,with the resultant negative impact on their occupational opportunities. Eleven million children die each year before the age of five ,and the death of child can dissolve a marriage especially in African cultures .An estimated 60% of these children are vulnerable because they are hungry (Regan 80:20 274). Under nutrition’s most damaging effects occur during pregnancy and in the first two years of life because this is when cognitive development is most rapid.
The physical effect of hunger and malnutrition is stunded growth of a child .Children who are malnourished have longer and more severe illness that would not kill them if they weren’t malnourished. Malnourishment and undernourishment can affect for their entire lives. A malnourished individual may group with physical or cognitive disabilities and face a life of hardship as a result. Being malnourished or undernourished will make the body of the person physically weak that the person will not be able to do his/her day to day duties and will also lead to poor performance at work and as a result that person will loose the job and the company will have low production as well due to the lose of the staff. The effects of hunger and malnutrition in the economic factor .A malnourished individual may grow up with physical or cognitive disabilities also have a debilitating effects upon a country’s workforce and subsequently it is economic productivity.
Medical cost can be long-lasting problem pregnancies often lead to the delivery underweight babies who require medical attention from the moment they are born .Malnutrition increases a child’s susceptibility to malaria , pneumonia, diarrhea or measles lead to a spiral of even further medical expenditure. Malnutrition and hunger are linked in the sense that they both lead to poverty and they are both caused by poverty .Hunger will lead to malnutrition ,malnutrition in pregnant women will lead to giving birth to underweight babies who require medical attention from the moment they are born ,which will cost the family some money and at the same time taking most of the families time of going to work or to do productive activities. Community participation is the process through which people gain control over the social ,political , economic and environmental factors that determine their health. The process of participation starts with an evaluation of the situation by everyone involved.
During the process the community defines its most important health problems ,it decides or priorities finally the community participates in implementing monitoring and evaluating a health programme ,all these things are possible even when people are poor or illiterate. Community participation links to primary health care in sense that ,the community members are the one who participate in the primary health care. Primary health care is essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families ,in the community through their full participation and at a cast that community can afford. National political commitment ,health services operate with a particular political structure .The decisions that determine the allocation of resources ,human resource policy and the availability and accessibility of services are primary political.