Malnutrition

Malnutrition
CAMBODIA. 2016. MAGNA nutritionist serves the therapeutic food (RUTF) to a pediatric patient during regular home visit. Copyright by Martin Bandžák / MAGNA

2 million children die of malnutrition every year

1 in 13 children on our planet suffer from hunger. The most children affected by malnutrition live in Asia and Africa – it means that they cannot get caloric enough nutrition for their bodies and brain to develop properly. Since its establishment in 2001, MAGNA helped to fight malnutrition on 3 continents and saved thousands of children thanks to its projects focusing on the treatment and prevention of malnutrition. The basic medication for malnutrition is special therapeutic nutrition, which contains all the necessary nutrients to cure a child from malnutrition.

 Malnutrition is caused by the lack of basic nutrients: growth will fluctuate and the child’s vulnerability towards ordinary diseases will increase. The critical age for malnutrition is from 6 months on – when mothers begin to supplement their milk with other nutrients – until 24 months of age. However, children under 5, adolescents, pregnant and breastfeeding women, old and chronically ill patients are vulnerable too.

Global facts on malnutrition

50 million children suffer from malnutrition around the whole world. That is ten times the population of Slovakia. 16 million children suffer from severe malnutrition that directly puts their life at risk. Each year, around 2 million children die because of malnutrition. The most affected countries are in Asia and Africa. It is estimated that only 15% of malnourished children have access to health care, in some countries, the percentage is even lower. 

The best food in the world – ready to use therapeutic food

It can treat acute malnutrition in most cases within 8-12 weeks. It is the most simple solution for treating malnutrition. RUTF contains enriched milk powder and supplies the body with all the nutrients a malnourished child needs for gaining weight. It is served based on the weight of the child and the treated child does not need any other food. It lasts long and does not need special processing and hence it can be served at home if the child does not suffer from complications. It is in the form of a paste or bars, it is easily served and saves the child. MAGNA uses RUTF in all of its nutritional programs, including in Congo, Cambodia, South Sudan, Syria or during draught and famine in Kenya and Somalia. Until now, we have used over 8 million packages of RUTF.

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