Prahlad photo story | Action Against Hunger

Photostory: Providing children with healthier futures in India

Despite its status as an economic powerhouse, India has the largest number of children suffering from life-threatening malnutrition in the world

By Action Against Hunger

Oct 8 2014

A staggering eight million children under five years are at risk of life-threatening hunger. Our teams are working to help turn the tide of malnutrition in India by providing children with the nutrition they need to grow, develop and build their own futures. 

Children like Prahlad Ramesh , 18 months,  who received treatment for malnutrition at a local health centre supported by Action Against Hunger.

Prahlad, from Dhawati village in India's Madya Pradesh, was severely malnourished, weighing just 4.4kg, when he first arrived at a nutritional rehabilitation centre for life-saving treatment.

His mum Rehka tried everything she could to make him better before taking the decision to seek help at the centre. She fed him bread and took him to a traditional doctor for treatment, but he became weaker and weaker. 

"Prahlad no longer played and lost his strength," Rehka said. "He could not even smile or play anymore."

A community health worker told Rehka about the nutrition centre and thankfully they made it there on time.

He was immediately diagnosed with life-threatening malnutrition and put on a tight treatment schedule. For 24 days he received the care and treatment he needed to regain his strength.

He received regular meals, including therapeutic milk, eggs and complementary food. 

Less than a month later, Prahlad was well on the road to recovery. He was laughing again, and was discharged from the health centre.

Tens of thousands of mothers like Rehka struggle to make ends meet in this rural area of India. Long hours working the field, poor sanitation and hygiene, along with a lack of access to water, make it hard for mothers to ensure their young children don’t fall ill. .

Action Against Hunger is working with health authorities and local partners to help integrate the treatment of acute malnutrition within communities and at home. This means malnourished children can access the treatment they need before it becomes critical, and without the need for their parents or carers to make long trips to hospitals.

This October, in the run-up to World Food Day, a group of food lovers, chefs and food industry experts from the UK, embarked on a unique cycle challenge across India in a bid to raise more than £100,000 towards Action Against Hunger’s work. 

The cycle challenge forms part of Action Against Hunger’s flagship Love Food Give Food campaign, which unites food lovers across the UK to take action against child hunger.

 

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