We are used to seeing images of starving children because of an almost complete lack of food but for millions of children there’s “hidden hunger” – known as undernutrition and is just as deadly. At Doctors Worldwide, we provide training for childcare workers on nutrition and give high quality nutritious food and healthcare to disabled and vulnerable children including orphans. We are providing much needed healthcare services to these vulnerable groups.
HappyKIDS – Orphans, Vulnerable and Disabled Children’s Healthcare & Undernutrition Program
As an organisation we like to look at issues which often appear invisible and get overlooked. In our work with children we identified childcare institutions doing good in the areas of education and shelter but found significant gaps in their ability to look after children’s health. Many of these institutions struggle to afford to pay medical fees, staff lack training to spot early health problems and most importantly for a child’s physical and mental development, we found a serious lack of a balanced diet and food.
Institutions, many funded by well wishers and “adopt an orphan” charities end up providing food to children that is lacking in nutrients and protein and are often high in carbohydrates – usually because it’s cheap.
Many of these children may look normal but their brain development and immune systems are not. Approximately 40% of children under 5 in Africa and South Asia are short for their age, suffering from stunted height. Poor nutrition affects a child’s hardwiring and functioning such as the immune system and brain development which are particularly vulnerable. In later life, children become easily susceptible to infections and do badly at school. Recent estimates (the Lancet) show that undernutrition causes 3.1 million child deaths annually.
At Doctors Worldwide, our program, based in Kenya is focused on tackling this challenge. We provide high quality nutrition, micronutrients, balanced meals and healthcare to children. Supplemented by training childcare staff at institutions and educating children on the basics of food and primary healthcare, we aim to leave a long term and sustainable legacy.
In 2016-17, we currently support 150 orphans and 270 vulnerable primary school children.
With your support you can help young children develop physically and mentally and stay healthy.