28 October 2021 – Read Devex Oped: Hidden hunger and its hidden cost
Agurash wakes up in the early morning hours feeling the comforting kick of her unborn baby. Located in a remote town in Ethiopia, she prepares a small breakfast of injera, teff flour pancakes, for her three children and husband. She eats a small breakfast of the leftovers from yesterday’s meal and sets off on a five-mile journey to work. Her aching back and light-headedness make the journey longer. Agurash is due for a medical check-up, although, between work and caring for her family, she struggles to go to the clinic. Most days, she has a few Birrs for food, but there is no money to buy the supplements that the community health worker recommended.
Agurash is not alone. Millions of women across the world, in low and middle-income countries, are denied basic nutrition either due to unavailability or unaffordability of healthy and nutritious food, even during pregnancy, when they need it the most. This puts them and their newborns, their health, their futures at risk. Access to nutritious foods and also prenatal nutrient supplements would not only improve maternal nutrition but also prevent the human capital costs it causes.
Global maternal nutrition and health experts, Dr. Hema Divakar, Dr. Anna Lartey, and Dr. Saskia Osendarp address this issue on Devex today. This compelling piece indicates that the time has come to step up, and calls for firm commitments to invest in women nutrition for promising futures.
Read ‘Hidden Hunger and its hidden cost’ here.
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