Hunger and malnutrition in various countries of Africa have been on the increase since the 1960’s. In the 1980’s it reached a climax when over 150 million people were affected by it in one form or another. Now more than 30 million children and adults across a swath of Africa are facing a devastating hunger and malnutrition crisis. Countries like Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia are among some of the regions that are strongly affected by hunger and malnutrition issues. In Kenya the prevalence of undernourishment in total populations is 30% in Ethiopia 40% and in Zambia 47%.
The number of undernourished persons in these regions is extremely high with Kenya at 13. 0 million, Ethiopia at 34 million and Zambia at 60 million. This indicates that a large number of people in these populations are suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Crop failures, sky rocketing food prices and insecurity have made it hard for parents to provide nutritious food for their children in some parts of Africa. United States Secretary General Kofi Annan addressed that African leaders are mismanaging Africa’s abundant resources.
He stated emphatically that the plundering of these resources has become the very source of Africa’s misery. This being that the lack of resources in Africa may be the main reason for hunger and malnutrition of their people. Hunger and malnutrition has had a deadly effect on counties in Africa. During the 1970’s it was estimated that 30 million people were affected by hunger and malnutrition. 5 million children died in 1984 alone. In Mozambique during the 1983-1984 famine about 100, 000 people perished. Today people in Africa are still dying and facing hunger and malnutrition issues.
Malnutrition diseases like protein energy deficiency, anemia, and vitamin A deficiency is common of millions of people in Africa, and if effecting and even killing them especially children. Anemia can lead to disorders like mental retardation, cretinism, deafness, abortion, and goiter, and about 25 percent of Africa’s population suffers from this malnutrition disease. About two million people suffer from night blindness or permanent blindness due to vitamin A deficiency. These diseases is a definite effect of hunger and malnutrition, and shows how serious it is and widespread in the country of Africa.
Programs like Saving the Children and many others have been created to help stop hunger and malnutrition in Africa. By donating food, money and even helping to harness food and resources for the continent of Africa, these programs have made it possible for some families to receive meals, medicine and medical treatment. Also African food and nutrition workers are always at effort to harness Africa resources, and food donations to Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, daycare centers and feeding centers help feed a lot of Africa’s people.
Hopefully these efforts and the others of people who joined the fight against hunger will help eradicate hunger and malnutrition. Part b I interviewed Alfred Douglass a 55 year old black man who is a resident of the Northeast side of Warren Oho. Alfred lives in a friend’s household, but under circumstances he is not able to be fed there. Alfred is a very poor individual so he can’t by much food, and this is causing him to suffer from hunger and a lack of fresh nutritious foods at times. I asked Alfred some Questions about hunger and malnutrition and these are his answers Q.
How widespread is hunger and malnutrition in your neighborhood or city? Alfred. I believe it’s very widespread just because of the rate of poor people in Warren. There are a lot of poor families and people in this city and common sense can tell you that less money means less food, and if these people are the one’s fortunate enough to eat meals at all the might not be much. For my neighborhood I know it’s widespread because a quarter of my friends and other neighbors eat at the rescue mission every day. The mission lines are full of hungry people who come to eat because they can’t eat elsewhere.
Q. Is there a problem getting fresh and nutritious food to certain groups of people in your neighborhood or city? Alfred. No not all. I say this because the rescue mission opens its door for people of all groups to eat. I see individuals of many races at the tables there eating during meal times. Black and white people are there eating regularly so I don’t think certain groups are being left out. I do believe it’s a problem though getting poor people food who can’t afford it and that there should be more ways that they can get food than eating at the missions and donations.
Q. Is anything being done to deal with the hunger and malnutrition problems in your city or neighborhood? If so what is being done? Alfred. Yes there is always food give always at the Salvation Army and other places here in Warren. There also programs that help the poor find jobs and give others assistances like help those who qualify get food stamps. And the rescue missions is always there to help the homeless and hungry people who are in need of a meal in my neighborhood.