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Boots on the Ground: Combating Malnutrition in Karamoja, Uganda

Action Against Hunger partners with UNICEF and ECHO to tackle acute malnutrition in northeastern Uganda.
Karamojong children enrolled in ACF’s nutrition programs. Credit: T. Frank
Karamojong children enrolled in ACF’s therapeutic nutrition programs. Credit: ACF-Uganda, T. Frank

The Karamoja region of Uganda suffers from persistently high rates of childhood malnutrition. In this land of nomadic herders, rates of acute malnutrition routinely surpass 15 percent, while some 40 percent of the  under-five population is considered underweight and at risk.

In response to this deadly persistence, Action AgainstHunger teamed up with UNICEF and ECHO—the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department—on a large-scale intervention to improve child nutrition while helping government ministries integrate malnutrition protocols into their basic health services.

The video below, produced by our partners at UNICEF, tells the story of two Karamojong children who received treatment for acute malnutrition in one of Action Against Hunger's therapeutic nutrition programs:

Very young children are the group most at risk of developing acute malnutrition as their bodies grow rapidly and have specific nutritional needs. Sometimes, the necessary foods aren’t available due to drought or market failure. In other cases, new mothers do not know the right foods to feed their children. Polluted water also contributes to malnutrition by introducing diarrheal diseases that interfere with the body’s ability to take in nutrients.

Programs like Action Against Hunger’s therapeutic nutrition interventions save lives, and they are simple enough to work virtually anywhere malnutrition is a problem. For long-term security, work is needed to revive local agriculture, expand access to clean water, and promote community and government partnerships for development.

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About Alex Ruthrauff

Alex is Action Against Hunger’s Donor Engagement Officer. He helps our supporters stay informed and active in the fight against hunger.

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