The devastating earthquake in 2010 wreaked havoc on the country of Haiti. Before the earthquake, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that sub-optimal nutrition was already occurring, with one in four children born with low birth weight. So on top of a country struggling in poverty, they are then hit with an earthquake that caused them almost irreversible damages. As you can imagine, this only made the need for proper maternal and child nutrition a more strenuous task.
Here in the United States, we have many safety nets and aids in place for families who might be experiencing hardship. We have programs like WIC, SNAP, TANF, and others. Each of these programs provides assistance to families and helps mothers obtain the proper nutrition needed for them and their children. Unfortunately, this is not a luxury for expectant mothers in Haiti.
A study completed by the CDC after the earthquake showed that chronic malnutrition remains high at a rate of 23.4%. The CDC states “This means that almost one out of every four children under the age of five has stunted growth due to improper nutrition”. Chronic malnutrition not only stunts a child’s physical growth but also their cognitive development.
So due to conditions that are unpreventable for a child, they are suffering from being able to experience their full potential. This is something no child deserves to experience.
LiveBeyond will not and does not stand to witness these devastating statistics. We will be a part of the solution for maternal and child nutrition.
That is why we created the maternal health program. The mother is not getting the needed nutrients she needs in order for her baby to be born at a healthy weight. When women enter into the maternal health program, they receive vitamins, nutritious food, health checks, and nutritional education.
Once the baby is born, the mother continues to be monitored to make sure she maintains proper health and nutrition. The baby also comes in for weekly medical and nutritional monitoring.
Additionally, mothers also receive education on the benefits of breastfeeding their babies. If breastfeeding is not a viable option, LiveBeyond provides the needed formula for the baby at no charge to the mother. In fact, the whole maternal health program is free of charge to all mothers.
If you would like to sponsor a mother and child to help provide these free services and help be a part of the solution, click here.
LiveBeyond will continue its work until there are no more children suffering from malnutrition. Maternal and child nutrition are of utmost importance to creating a strong and healthy Thomazeau community.
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