Severe wasting: an overlooked emergency for child survivaldetails that approximately one in five deaths among children under the age of five may be due to severe wasting.
Caused by a lack of nutritious food and repeated bouts of illness such as diarrhea, measles, and malaria, it undermines a child’s immunity.
“Small children without food rapidly lose weight, often exacerbated by bouts of infectious diarrhea, until they become so thin and weak that they appear skeletal.l, UNICEF supervisor Katherine Russell explained in the preface to the report.
Unlike starvation or starvation, relatively few people have heard of severe wasting, although it affects some 13.6 million children under the age of five worldwide and is one of the leading causes of preventable death among young children.
“It is excruciatingly painful for a child whose body is fighting this disease. Without life-saving treatment, many are losing this battle,” said Ms Russell. She also noted that conflicts and climate crises that limit access to healthy food “cause that number to rise.”“.
But even in stable countries, child wasting has risen by more than 40 percent.
For example, in Uganda, child wasting has increased by 61 percent since 2016.
“When an infant or child is so underweight and weak, they cannot eat normally,” the head of UNICEF explained, referring to the fact that traditional food aid, such as bags of wheat or soybeans, cannot save them.
These children need life-saving, ready-to-eat health food (RUTF), a high-calorie nut butter given as a remedy that can literally mean the difference between life and death..
Despite its simple and affordable effectiveness, with nutritional funding drastically cut, some 10 million desperate children are not receiving RUTF, largely due to the ongoing economic shock. COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, both countries among the world’s leading agricultural producers and exporters, has blocked supply routes and affected global food security, threatening more children with malnutrition.
The UN Food Agency suggests that a prolonged decline in food exports could increase the global number of undernourished by 8–13 million people in 2022 and 2023..
In addition, food, fuel and fertilizer shortages, combined with inflationary pressures, are causing prices to skyrocket.
“Global Warning for Children”
And even RUTF therapy is not immune. The cost of this effective treatment is projected to increase by 16 percent over the next six months.