Published on January 6, 2012 at 5:39 AM
In Nepal, "a child malnutrition epidemic described by humanitarian organizations as a 'silent emergency' is claiming the lives of thousands of infants each year," Agence France-Presse reports. "According to government statistics 1.7 million children -- nearly half of all under-fives -- suffer from chronic malnutrition, a long-term condition also known as stunting," the news service writes, adding, "Acute malnutrition, a condition known as 'wasting' blamed for half of Nepal's infant deaths, is thought to affect 18 percent."
"In 2008, UNICEF began a community-based approach to combating acute malnutrition, using local volunteers ... to deliver 'ready-to-eat therapeutic food' sachets to sick children in the poorest districts," AFP writes, noting "UNICEF has also delivered 10 million sachets of micronutrient powders -- supplements sprinkled on food -- to 67,000 young children in the country's poorest areas." According to the news service, aid agencies say nearly a quarter of Nepalese do not have access to basic health care services (Taggert, 1/5).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.