Malnutrition Awareness Week aims to “educate healthcare professionals on the early detection, prevention, and treatment of malnutrition.” Malnutrition comes in several forms. These include undernutrition, insufficient vitamins or minerals, overweight, and obesity (WHO, 2021).
Malnutrition, specifically undernutrition, is exceptionally prevalent in Haiti and leads to many health concerns and conditions for children and adults across this underserved nation. In our rural area of Thomazeau, Haiti, much of our community has experienced undernutrition. Many experiencing undernutrition starts at a very early age, leading to stunting, wasting, and being underweight from childhood into adulthood. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain delays, and food insecurity, UNICEF estimates that malnutrition among children under five increased by at least 61% in Haiti. Though food insecurity is a common occurrence in Haiti, the last two years have been remarkably more severe for the majority of the country’s population.
Combatting undernutrition has been one of LiveBeyond’s primary efforts since the inception of our work in Haiti. Over the last several years, we have created remarkable partnerships with Convoy of Hope, Vitamin Angels, Food for the Poor, and so many others. These partnerships have exponentially increased our ability to impact the community of Thomazeau through our food and nutrition program.
The LiveBeyond students are provided with free, nutritious meals for breakfast and lunch each school day. This food is nutritious and filling. It provides the sustenance needed for our students to thrive in their health, academics, and athletics each weekday. Not only are we able to provide our students with nutritious meals and vitamins, but we are also able to partner with many other schools in our area. Through our school partnerships, LiveBeyond supplies food for these area schools. They are then able to prepare and serve the food to their students for breakfast and/or lunch each school day.
Our maternal health program also aims to combat undernutrition during pregnancy from a maternal and fetal development perspective. Ensuring the mothers in our program have adequate food, prenatal vitamins, and healthcare for the duration of pregnancy sets mom and baby up for optimal outcomes pre- and postpartum. Our maternal health program has seen a significant increase in newborn birthweight & a drastic decrease in maternal & infant mortality.
LiveBeyond also strives to provide food, nutrition, and vitamins to many others in the community. Our food and nutrition efforts are vast. We serve the LiveBeyond staff members, their families, families of our Johnny’s Kids students, & individuals who are in great need. LiveBeyond is very grateful for our wonderful partners who have a significant impact on our Nutrition Program efforts.
We cannot thank our donors, partners, and supporters enough for all of the amazing work they allow LiveBeyond to do. So, a very special thank you to each and every one who has given to these efforts!! If you would like to support our Food and Nutrition efforts to combat malnutrition in Haiti, please visit our donation page here.
Hear the latest news from Haiti, read posts about faith and community development, and find transcriptions from the LiveBeyond podcast.