Unicef Calls for Support for Burmese Children, Women
The Irrawaddy, 08 September 2005
Unicef in Burma has highlighted the urgent need for greater international support to protect Burmese children and women against malnutrition—particularly against the threat of anemia—in a recent press release. Anemic mothers die more often in childbirth and are more likely to give birth to underweight children. Anemic children are shorter and less mentally agile than they otherwise would be, and they are more vulnerable to debilitating and potentially deadly diseases, the press release states.
Unicef has suggested that numerous factors can give rise to or aggravate anemia, including insufficient consumption of iron-rich foods, food insecurity, parasitic infections such as intestinal worms, and malaria. Anemia prevention is just one component of Unicef’s larger effort to improve the nutritional status of children and women in Burma.
In early August, the UN’s World Food Programme stated that 15 percent of Burma’s 53 million people face “food insecurity,” while one out of three young children are chronically malnourished or physically stunted.