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2010.05.17

* UNICEF: Lack of knowledge rather than lack of food leads to malnutrition in Benin
* 시간: 02 min 30 secs
* 촬영도시: Alibori District, Benin
* 촬영국가: Benin
* 촬영일자: 14 Apr 2010


Nine million people live in Benin which runs in a narrow strip, from the tropical Atlantic coast all the way to here—to the drought-prone north.


A third of children under the age of five in Benin suffer from malnutrition. Eighty five per cent of the population is rural, and dependent on the crops they harvest for their income and stable diet.


At the Comparou health clinic, Linata Gbadamassi, treats a sixteen-month old boy. He's given plumpy nut, a revolutionary ready-to-eat therapeutic food that allows children to be treated at home.


SOUNDBITE (French) Anne-Sophie Le Dain, UNICEF Nutrition Officer
"What we have here is a problem of child survival. Acute malnutrition is a serious problem. Children suffering from acute malnutrition are 9 times more likely to die compared to those children who are not malnourished."


A mix of economics, cultural beliefs and unequal gender relations provide the complex causes that put children's lives at risk.


Under the shade tree a simple meal is prepared. The recipe, targeted atchildren over six months, is a mix of local ingredients. Oil ground peanuts or dried fish are added to boost the protein in the children's porridge.


Community nurse Linata says the main cause of malnutrition is ignorance.


She says there's is not a shortage of food but mothers don't use the right ingredients. They tend to give the child plain porridge of just maize or millet instead of enriching it with soya.


UNICEF worked with the Ministry of Health to introduce a new approach. It aimed at empowering the community to be able to detect the worst cases themselves and avert disaster.


The priority is to reach children before they get too sick or experience complications and need to be hospitalized.

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