When I was in Kenya last year I talked with an HIV-positive, expectant mother who told me that once her baby was born she would feed her a homemade mixture of millet, nuts, and water – essentially a rudimentary form of infant formula. I was mortified by the thought of homemade formula knowing that her baby would not receive adequate nutrition and that access to clean water in developing countries remains a perpetual problem. To this day, I hope her baby was able to survive on what she made for her to drink and that someone counseled her to breastfeed instead even though she was HIV positive.
Statistics for malnutrition in developing countries are quite startling. Did you know 1 in 3 children in developing countries die from malnutrition and that 11% of diseases like pneumonia are caused by malnutrition? Future Fortified, a global campaign that helps millions of women and children around the world access essential nutrients, has set out to help keep children alive and well through proper nutrition. Without an adequate intake of food and nutrients children experience stunting, or improper physical growth and cognitive development. Stunting then leads to monetary losses for an entire country based on decreased physical productivity and work capacity according to the World Bank. More importantly, malnutrition is the root cause of 35% of all cases of child mortality in developing countries according to the World Health Organization. If proper nutrition can be provided to children in the developing world, child mortality rates will dramatically decrease, thereby helping to reach the 2015 and beyond Millennium Development Goal of reducing mortality for children under the age of five by two thirds.
One home nutrition packet, like the one above, costs as little as 3 cents. Each pack contains a blend of vitamins and minerals and mothers can easily sprinkle the packets’ content on their children’s food to ensure they receive the nutrients they desperately need.
What Can You Do to Help?
Hover to explore interactive photo.
At FutureFortified.org you can purchase a 100% organic onesie ($19) or bib ($14) for the baby in your life or buy a recycled canvas tote ($24). One hundred percent of the proceeds goes to improving nutrition for expecting mothers, new moms, and young children. And, if you don’t want to shop, you can always donate to help improve nutrition in developing countries.
Learn more at futurefortified.org/shop.
Photos: Jennifer James
I received a press kit from FutureFortified that contained informational materials and products that are available in the FutureFortified shop where all proceeds go to improved nutrition in developing countries.