Every year, on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans everywhere gather to share plentiful and even extravagant feasts with friends and family. Afterward, people loosen their belts and resolve to undo the damage of saturated fats, sugars, and over-processed carbohydrates with more exercise and healthier foods. That’s because despite being among the most obese populations in the world, many Americans have abundant food choices and easy access to information about good nutrition.
Yet in sub-Saharan African countries like Uganda, there is often little opportunity for either gluttonous feasting or well-informed choices where essential nutrients are concerned. Here are some things to know about malnutrition in Uganda and how you can help children there to build healthier lives and brighter futures.
Malnutrition in Uganda
One of the biggest threats to children in Uganda today is the cycle of malnutrition and infection. Of children who are under 5 years of age, 53% have anemia, 29% have stunted growth, and 11% have abnormally low weight. Of girls and women who can become pregnant, 32% have anemia and 9% are underweight. These groups are at risk of having babies with low birth weight, which predisposes their children to malnutrition as well. When underweight babies and children develop infections, their risk of stunted growth increases even further.
As of 2015, about half of all child deaths in Uganda were caused by malnutrition and stunting. This stems in part from food insecurity and disease as well as barriers to clean water and sanitation. However, inadequate access to education—including an understanding of basic nutrition—are also major contributors. In fact, data shows that the more education a mother attains, the less likely her child is to suffer from malnutrition and stunting.
Removing barriers to education can not only help to keep children and mothers healthier, but give Ugandans the means to escape poverty and build healthier, more productive communities.
You Can Help To End Malnutrition in Uganda This Thanksgiving
You can help to improve nutrition and overall quality of life for Ugandans by supporting schools and education programs, which provide children with the tools they need to build a more promising future. This Thanksgiving, consider donating to nonprofit organizations that work to keep Ugandan children in school while meeting their essential nutritional and health needs. Many organizations have simple, user-friendly online donation platforms. As you’re recovering from your Thanksgiving feast, grab a mobile device and share your bounty with Ugandans.
Prevent Malnutrition for Ugandans With Simone’s Kids
Simone’s Kids in Nakaseke, Uganda provides education and meets basic needs for children in order to help them break the cycle of poverty. Your donations help purchase nutritious food, school supplies, textbooks, and other necessities for Ugandan students.
It’s time for our annual Classroom for Christmas drive! Join us in giving back this holiday season with gifts that provide hope to our students in Uganda. Make a difference by shopping at the Simone’s Kids Store or donating to Simone’s Kids today!