Why Are 3.5 Million Children Dying Every Year from Severe Acute Malnutrition?

 

 

Global hunger affects 1 billion people each year. Severe Acute Malnutrition, known as the “immediate killer”, will very likely take the lives of 19 million children this year. In 2013, at least 3.5 million children died from malnourishment. That is an average of over 9,500 deaths a day—400 an hour. It’s the equivalent of 19 jumbo jets each full of 500 children crashing…day after day. It is a horrific visualization, but it is also a gross realization.

Why are people malnourished, children specifically?

This can seem like somewhat of an obvious answer—most ‘do not have enough food’. This can be both a result of a lack of resourcesstaring_at_camera_large 2 due to their geographical location and topography, as well as famines such as the one that is currently sweeping most of Southern and Central Malawi. But, once you dig deeper, you will realize the issue is much more than environmental inhibitors.

Children under five are victims of the most hunger related deaths, more so than any other demographic. In many nations, such as Malawi, Africa, there is a cultural hierarchy—one that unfortunately promotes children eating last. The youngest child is the last to eat at every meal, and these children rarely eat once they are finished breastfeeding. Hunger and malnutrition therefore kill more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Malnutrition weakens the children’s resistance and increases the risk of dying from pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, measles or AIDS. Many malnourished children die because they are vulnerable to repeated bouts of disease and infection. Most of the damage caused by malnutrition occurs in children before they reach their second birthday.

So why is change so difficult?

Real, noticeable change requires fixing the entire problem—not just one aspect of the problem. What do we find when we dig deeper? We find that the majority of the world’s issues are all interrelated.

Change is so difficult, I believe, because it is a call for multiple non-profits and causes to work together—to fight together. We all have the same end goal: saving lives. So why aren’t we doing more as a united front? Change is difficult; but, change is powerful.

If we solve the issue of malnutrition, we can sometimes simultaneously eradicate other fatal diseases in the process. Malnutrition, by no means, will be the end to malaria, measles, AIDS, and the like. However, solving malnutrition can mitigate the number of deaths from other related diseases.

What does PB+J Foods (Peanut Butter + Jesus) do?

Photo-4-Malawian-Child-Suffers-from-Severe-Acute-Malnutrition-Hours-Before-Death 2PB+J is a non-profit organization that is determined to put an end to the unnecessary deaths of countless children from Severe Acute Malnutrition. PB+J produces and distributes a fortified peanut butter paste to the villages of the Nkhoma region of Malawi, Africa.

PB+ J Foods is working tirelessly to save the lives of 11,000 children in 2014, the organization we needs your help. For $30 you can save a child from starvation.  You can make a donation at pbjfoods.org/donate. If you are part of an organization and believe that our organizations could create a powerful, united front, contact Stan Smith at stan.pbjfoods@gmail.com or call (949) 702-3187.

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