It’s the dark side of this magnificent country. This disease is less visible than the famine that strikes in certain sub-Saharan African countries. But it exists, in silence and in a underhanded way in this beautiful country. I want to talk about chronic malnutrition, a form much more misunderstood than acute malnutrition. Chronic malnutrition – which some experts call the “hidden hunger” – is simply malnutrition settled in and existing in time. It’s hardship, over several years, necessary food and nutrients for physical and intellectual growth of a child. According to the latest data from UNICEF, Madagascar is the sixth most affected country by this plague: more than half of Madagascar under five years old suffer from chronic malnutrition.
On the island, chronic malnutrition is due to two reasons:
– The little variety of menus and too little healthy options proposed by moms who don’t change their habits and continue giving too much rice and potatoes frequently to their children. Various non-profits on the ground lead campaigns to raise awareness of the benefits of foods like leeks or carrots, which are found on the red island.
– Second reason: the political and economic crisis that continues in the development of the country for six years now and it has a considerable impact on the purchasing power and unemployment rate in the country. – Outcome: Families of the poorest provinces are in an economic situation such that it makes it difficult to properly feed their children, even if they’re aware of it. Madagascar begins to become aware. Because one must know how chronic malnutrition has a significant socio-economic cost: children affected by this plague before the age of two can experience lifelong consequences, particularly in the brain. Underdevelopment at a period as major as provoking malformations or cause blindness. It leads to poor educational performance and consequently to low incomes.