Malnourishment in West Nepal

One significant problem that we have seen in our travels throughout West Nepal is the extent of childhood malnourishment.

Sometimes this can be associated with very young mothers with little nutritional information support, but in other cases cannot. Though there are some nutritional programs that run throughout West Nepal, it can be difficult for mothers to provide the breadth and quantity of recommended food and vitamins when they only have direct access to the food grown in their fields.

The districts in West Nepal with the highest rates of malnourishment in children under the age of five are:

Humla        65.7%
Bajhang     63.2%
Achham     59.2%
Baitadi       59.2%
Doti            57.6%
Surkhet     57.9%
Kalikot       54.1%
Jumla         54.1%

To find out the malnourishment rates of children under five in other districts, check out this interactive map:

 

Maps and numbers from: www.nepalmap.org

 

In Achcham, for example, the amount of food grown and accessed by mothers is usually insufficient for the number of children they care for. The father is usually in India or abroad elsewhere working to send money back to their families, and women often don’t have the knowledge and resources to manage the crisis.

 

               

 

My dear friend Dr Keshav Bhattarai, who passed away last December at 31 years, was the one who introduced me to the world of women in West Nepal. He was really upset because on average, every month six women in Achcham committed suicide. These women had large families with many children that they were unable to provide with sufficient food, and often did not want to use contraception, or have access to the choice or relevant education about it. In this situation, women suffer a lot of stress and pressure.

I don’t think anything has changed in the district since he left last year to work in Humla, before his death.

Children are the foundation that the future of Nepal rests upon. Only a proper investment in today’s children will bring us to a better tomorrow.

But a quick glance at the child nourishment data on www.nepalmap.org shows that 40% of children under the age of five in Nepal are malnourished. This means that today, almost half of children in Nepal under five do not receive a well-balanced meal, which not only hampers their development, but in turn the nations.

In our workshops we teach the importance of proper nutrition, balanced meals, and hydration to the girls. Although this becomes increasingly essential once their menstrual periods start, proper hydration and nutrition is critical every day of the year, from early childhood into adulthood.

And so we wait, hoping that little by little things are changing.

Now you can contribute for paying one month salary to the nurse, or for some hygiene kit or for the menstrual cup control in September: https://www.gofundme.com/menstrual-cups-in-nepal-chhaupadi

Written by Clara Go. Correction by Kristy Davies
Maps and numbers from: www.nepalmap.org

West Nepal girls need this kind of program. And we need help to continue the project!

Or if you feel like it, you can donate via bank transfer at: Banc Sabadell IBAN: ES23 0081 0900 8200 0430 1934 BIC: BSABESBB (your recurring donation will help us have a better planning of our budget to carry out the projects undertaken).

Or take a look others ways to donate at http://beartsy.org/donate/

Thank You! 🙂

This post is also available in: Spanish Catalan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *