Malnutrition affects more than 200 million children worldwide. In the short term, slowed growth and increased susceptibility to infection and disease lead to high rates of infant mortality. Those who survive to adulthood often face decreased cognitive ability and increased rates of chronic disease.
Unfortunately, malnutrition is often part of an inter-generational cycle. Growing up malnourished makes it less likely for people to escape poverty and more likely to have malnourished children themselves. These cycles can be difficult to break without outside intervention.
Cycles: Impact On Education
Adults who grew up malnourished often have decreased cognitive ability. This severely impacts their ability to perform in school and makes escaping poverty difficult. Without the opportunity to grow, their children often suffer the same fate. By focusing on childhood malnutrition, we hope to break this cycle by allowing children to develop physically and mentally to fulfill their potential.
Not only does this help individuals, but a better educated populace brings higher skilled jobs to communities and leads to a healthier economy.
Cycles: Impact On Health
Adults who grew up malnourished often face increased rates of chronic disease, which means more time away from work and higher healthcare costs. Children who grow up healthy are healthier as adults. This gives them more freedom to save and reinvest in themselves. Preventive healthcare pays dividends in the future.
Mothers who were malnourished as children are often unhealthy during their pregnancies. This can lead to newborn babies with compromised immune systems, low birth weight, and delayed development. This increases the chance those babies will also have stunted growth. By intervening early, we hope to help break the cycle for the children of Honduras.