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ACF Int'l launches campaign vs. deaths due to malnutrition

HEALTH • 03:08 AM Tue Oct 28, 2014
Rosa May Maitem, ACF International
ACF International and partners in fight vs. death due to malnutrition

COTABATO CITY -From New York to Spain, Londonto Kenya, Manila to Leyte, Zamboanga to Central Mindanao, people from around the world are uniting their voices and calling for an end to needless child deaths from acute malnutrition.In today’s world of wealth and material plenty, ACF International considers it an outrage that 52 million children under the age of five still suffer from acute malnutrition. Every year, the severest form of acute malnutrition causes the death of an estimated a million children, mainly in developing regions of Africa and Asia, including the Philippines.As the Philippines population is projected at 97.6 million, 13.5 percentof which are children under five, 7.3 percentor nearly a million of these children are acutely malnourished. Prevalence of wasting has risen for children under five years from 6 percentin 2003 to 7.3 percentin 2011, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute reported. If not properly managed, children with severe acute malnutrition (estimated at 2.5 percentof children under five or 329,400) are 9.4 times more likely to die compared to normal children.Under the World Health Organization’s threshold for global acute malnutrition, the Philippines’ rate of 7.3 percentfor children under five years is considered poor, and the rate of 11.9 percentfor children 6-11 months serious. But if properly managed, case fatality will decrease by 55 percent.To step up action from governments, ACF International with the Philippine Coalition of Advocates for Nutrition Security, a coalition of non-governmental organizations that calls for improved nutrition among vulnerable and marginalized populations is launching Generation Nutrition, a campaign whose overall goal is to stop young child deaths from acute malnutrition. The campaign is international in scope, involving engagement with the public, global decision-makers and governments across the globe.The advocacy focuses on the progress by the international community and governments in the twin areas of treatment and prevention. On treatment, the key objective looks into the achievement of universal coverage for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and key to prevention is for governments to implement the measures needed to reduce the rates of acute malnutrition – for instance a national rate of acute malnutrition of below 5 percent.In the last two years governments have stepped up their action on nutrition. The year 2012 saw the adoption at the World Health Assembly of a progressive series of global targets on nutrition and at the June 2013 Nutrition for Growth event donors committed additional aid for nutrition in the period up to 2020. Today, 43 developing countries, including the Philippines are now participating in the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. In the Philippines, we are calling on the government to maintain this momentum – and, in particular, to do more to address acute malnutrition,” says Javad Amoozegar, country director of ACF International.ACF International at the international and country level will link with broader civil society advocacy efforts, including those happening under the auspices of the SUN movement and in nutrition-related sectors, such as health, food security, agriculture, water and sanitation, and children’s rights.As 2014 plays a key year in the negotiations on the post-2015 development framework, the Generation Nutrition campaign will push for governments to adopt appropriate goals and targets for addressing both under-nutrition and wasting as part of any future deal.ACF International sees acute malnutrition as an everyday reality for millions of children around the world. And it doesn’t only happen because of conflict or natural disaster. In fact, most undernourished children suffering from acute malnutrition can be found in remote villages and bustling cities, and they are nearly a million in the Philippines. The silent killer of acute malnutrition is entirely predictable, preventable and treatable. A world where every child has enough nutritious food to live and thrive, where no child dies from hunger or for lack of simple treatments, is possible. All it needs is the political will to make it a reality. If we can make change the way they set their priorities, children’s lives will be saved,” Amoozegar adds. That’s why an urgently needed Generation Nutrition campaign is stepping up to act. We need to stand up for children facing deadly hunger. Child deaths from acute malnutrition could be ended in a generation. If we act now, we can end child deaths from acute malnutrition in a generation,” Amoozegar says.According to Dr. Oscar Fudalan, ACF Nutrition Coordinatorand Acute malnutrition is an avoidable tragedy. We know how to treat acutely malnourished children so they survive and recover and we know how to prevent the condition from occurring in the first place. With the right community health systems in place, in as little as 6 weeks, a child can be back up on their feet again, with his or her whole life ahead of them.It’s time to stand up for children facing deadly hunger and end this outrage. Acute malnutrition is an everyday emergencythat can be treated at a community level.” We strongly support and commit ourselves in the advocacy, management and implementation of appropriate interventions and programs in ending extreme malnutrition resulting in children's deaths. We believe the strong partnership and engagement with the civil society organizations, national government agencies, private sectors and community-based organizations in the realization of this goal and mission for Generation Nutrition. We uphold the right of every child to health, nutrition, sanitation and education andits total well-being for a healthy environment where the family as a whole is the center of the total human development, says Elmer Montales, the municipal planning and development officer of Arakan.The ‘Generation Nutrition’ also launches the global petition calling on world leaders to prioritize tackling acute child malnutrition and to ensure that the post-2015 development framework that replaces the Millennium Development Goals prioritizes ending child deaths from hunger. This will be presented to world leaders at the meeting of the United Nations in September 2014 as negotiations involving every nation on earth get underway.Sign the petition at and//www.generation-nutrition.org/ www.generation-nutrition.org The Generation Nutrition campaign brings together a diverse and growing group of civil society organizations who wish to see an end to child deaths from acute malnutrition. Generation Nutrition is a global campaign, calling on governments and the international community to take urgent action to prioritize the fight against acute malnutrition, and save the lives of millions of children under the age of five. Its members include Action Against Hunger – ACF International, ACF Kenya, ACF Philippines, AMREF, CARE France, CMAM Forum, Coalition Eau, End Water Poverty, ENN, Global Health Advocates, GRACE Africa, International Medical Corps, Islamic Relief Kenya, PHILCAN, KANCO, Malaria Consortium, Mercy USA Kenya. Population Services Kenya, PU-AMI, Results UK, Secours Islamique France, Solidarités International, TargetTB, WaterAid.

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