Inadequate nutritious diet leads to poor physical and mental development in children, and the problem is more prevalent in the developing countries than the developed countries. Extreme poverty and lack of health awareness in the poor communities cause malnutrition and hunger in pregnant mothers and their developing children. If the problem is not treated timely with appropriate medical intervention, it can lead to adverse consequences, including tragic but preventable death. Causes of Malnutrition and Its Accompanying Deficiency Diseases Sengupta (2009) reported that 42.
5% of children below the age of five years are underweight in India.
This is primarily due to illiteracy, lack of awareness about health and hygiene, and scanty financial resources for providing a nutritious diet to the pregnant mothers and their growing children. Sengupta highlighted that only $ 1. 3 billion were being spent to tackle the massive problem of malnutrition and hunger in a country where 230 million children are undernourished. According to International Food Policy Research Institute, 83% of Indian women suffer from anemia, and thus, a baby born from a malnourished mother will be underweight, which is also supported by their findings that 33% of babies born in India are underweight.
Can such malnourished children survive? Are they more vulnerable to catch infectious diseases than healthy children? Muller (2005) claimed that Kwashiorkar and Marasmus are two major disorders in children, which are caused by an intake of diet that is poor in proteins and energy giving foods. The symptoms in a Kwashiorkar affected child include swelling of body parts, and it can lead to death if not properly treated; whereas in case of Marasmus, the child can become a victim of paralysis if adequate amounts of proteins and energy are not fed.
Ramani and D’Souza (2006) reported that malnutrition makes the child more vulnerable to other deadly diseases, and accounts for 57% of those deaths in undernourished children due to Malaria, 61% of such fatalities resulting from Diarrhea, and 52% of children’s deaths caused by Pneumonia. Intervention Programs to Combat Deadly Malnutrition After going through detailed analyses of the causes and disastrous consequences of the problem of malnutrition and hunger in India, I would strongly propose a health awareness program at the grass root levels.
I would propose setting up special health care centers for pregnant mothers and infants, which aim to provide both health education and vital food supplements rich in protein and carbohydrates. Sengupta (2009) had also emphasized the need to care for dietary requirements of pregnant mothers, and their children below two years of age. Since it is not possible to provide a nutritious diet to pregnant mothers and their 230 million malnourished children with a petty sanctioned amount of $ 1.
3 billion, I shall write to World Bank, UNICEF, WHO and other international organizations to contribute to the existing development program for feeding pregnant mothers and their malnourished children. Besides suggesting an intake of protein and energy giving foods for tackling Kwashiorkar and Marasmus, I shall also inform them the need of micronutrients, which are available in green and yellow vegetables. How can a malnourished mother give birth to a healthy child? I shall educate, and request the father of the family to give an equal status to the woman by allowing her to eat together with the rest of the family.
According to International Food Policy research Institute, 83% of Indian women suffer from anemia because they eat the residual meals of the family. Conclusion By using a proactive and results-oriented approach, I shall raise funds for educating the individual families to give a nutritious diet to the pregnant mothers and their children.
References International Food Policy Research Institute. Despite efforts, why does child malnutrition persist in India? Retrieved from http://www. ifpri. org/media/BeijingPlus10/briefIndia. pdf. Muller, O, & Krawinkel, M.
(August 2, 2005). Malnutrition and health in developing countries. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 173 (3). Retrieved from http://www. cmaj. ca/cgi/content/full/173/3/279 Ramani, A. V. , & D’Souza, R. (July-September 2006). Misunderstanding malnutrition. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 14(3). Retrieved from http://www. ijme. in/143ed84. html. Sengupta, S. (March 12, 2009). As Indian growth soars, child hunger persists. The New York Times. Asia Pacific. Retrieved from http://www. nytimes. com/2009/03/13/world/asia/13malnutrition. html
Cite this page
Malnutrition and Hunger in Poor Children in India. (2016, Dec 06). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/malnutrition-and-hunger-in-poor-children-in-india-essay