Finding a Fairytale Ending: Malnutrition in Kenya
Posted by Ellen Wilcox on June 27, 2012
Once upon a time in a land far far away, nestled snugly between the nations of Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia, there was a country called Kenya. In this country there lived over 40 million people, more than 10 million of whom suffered from chronic food insecurity and insufficient access to necessary micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (proteins and essential fats). While every Kenyan was subjected to the country’s severe nutritional limitations, the mothers and children of the land suffered the most.
Micronutrient deficiencies relentlessly threatened the health and development of Kenyan children under the age of five, with 84% deficient in vitamin A, 73.4% in iron and 51% in zinc. Additionally, in the absence of a healthy and nourished body, fighting diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS became nearly impossible. With these increasing nutrient deficiencies and faltering physical resilience, it is hardly surprising that 35% of Kenyan children under the age of five are stunted, leading to long term health and development challenges.
Unfortunately, this story is neither fictional lore nor mythical fable. This is the story of Kenya today. And while these numbers are nothing short of disheartening, just like any other fairytale, this story can have a happy ending. And that happy ending is Kenya Fortified. Together, we can enrich Kenya’s staple diet of maize, beans, and cassava—foods that on their own lack vitamin A, iron, iodine, and zinc. By simply sprinkling a home nutrition packet over her child’s food, a mother in Kenya can turn her traditional Ugali (a thick porridge of maize) into a micronutrient powerhouse. We have the ability to give this story the fairytale ending it deserves and we invite all of our partners, friends and readers to join us as co-writers of this story. With your help, we can give these mothers and children their very own happily ever after. The End.
To learn more about Kenya Fortified, watch our new video!