Reports about Save the Children's work helping children and families who cannot afford basic food in Mozambique have appeared on ITV’s Breakfast programmes, ‘Daybreak’ and ‘Lorraine’, for two days running, thanks to TV News London's Director, Malcolm Douglas, who is currently working with the charity as a broadcast PR consultant.
Malcolm visited northern Mozambique as a TV producer for Save the Children, together with newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky who interviewed families and health workers, and reported for ITV on the hidden hunger crisis in the country.
Natasha is pictured in Ampivine where she talked to mothers whose children have died or who have stunted growth because of the lack of good food. Joaquim (pictured left and below) is aged two and a half but he weighs only 14 ½ lbs (6.6 kilos) which is half the weight he should be. After he had been weighed Save the Children ensured he received treatment at the local hospital. Without this help he could have died within days.
Natasha also met Ali who is four years old but at 3 feet tall he is at least 6 inches (14 cm) shorter than he should be because his growth has been stunted through malnutrition. His mother, Haiwa, has five other children whose growth is also stunted because they have never had a proper nutritious diet.
Malcolm Douglas, pictured centre below with Natasha, and the Save the Children team who produced the reports for ITV says: “ When you first arrive in Mozambique you think it looks like a fertile country and that people should be eating well, but their diet is mostly boiled cassava roots and very poor in nutrients. They can hardly ever afford to eat proteins like eggs, milk and meat. We filmed Save the Children’s classes for mothers showing them how to add vitamins and minerals but it’s tough for the families because they can’t afford this on a regular basis."
Malcolm’s work in Mozambique was part of Save the Children’s ‘No Child Born to Die‘ campaign which aims to expose the reality of hunger and malnutrition experienced by millions of children across the world. Malnutrition is the underlying cause of 300 child deaths every hour but it is rarely cited on death certificates, because children's weakened systems succumb to other common killers like pneumonia or diarrhoea.
Save the Children says that a package of basic measures including breastfeeding and fortifying basic foods with essential minerals or vitamins, would save the lives of two million children a year and prevent over 60 million young lives from being blighted by malnutrition.
Save the Children’s Chief Executive Justin Forsyth said: "The world has made dramatic progress in reducing child deaths, down from 12 to 7.6 million, but this momentum will stall if we fail to tackle malnutrition. After a year of record food prices, millions of parents with little money have cut back on food for their families.
“Every hour of every day, three hundred children die from malnutrition. This is often simply because they don’t have access to the basic, nutritious foods that we take for granted in wealthier countries. By acting to stop the hunger and malnutrition crisis in its tracks, world leaders have the chance to change this for millions of children across the world.
“Last year Britain showed powerful leadership on helping the world’s poorest children, galvanising global action and funds to secure vaccinations for millions of children, potentially saving four million lives. Save the Children is now asking British Prime Minister David Cameron to do the same to stop children dying because of malnutrition. We are asking him to help lead the biggest push in history to reduce hunger, and hold a World Hunger Summit to agree and fund concrete action to tackle this crisis.”
Save the Children works in more than 120 countries worldwide.
Save the Children, 1 St. John's Lane, London, EC1M 4AR
Telephone +44 (0)20 7012 6400 Fax +44 (0)20 7012 6963
22 February 2012