Waste Not, Want Not – As told by “Uncle” Norman.
By the way, this is not about garbage collection, disposal, recycling, or the treatment thereof. In fact, it’s about the importance of meeting the increased nutrient requirements of children at risk for wasting.
So, what is wasting?
According to United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO): wasting or low weight for height, is a reduction or loss of body weight in relation to height.
In essence, wasting is the result of a child’s weight falling significantly below the weight expected of a child of the same length or height. This usually occurs when a child has not had food of adequate quality and quantity, and/or they have had frequent or prolonged illnesses.
Like most malnutrition-related ailments, wasting eats away at children’s optimal growth and development, including that wasted children, are at a greater risk of dying from common diseases such as diarrhea or pneumonia, than children who are adequately nourished.
In supporting those vulnerable children, who due to varying socio-economic conditions, do not have access to diets that cover their nutrient needs, immediate and urgent steps should be taken to provide them with the necessary supplementary foods.
Such cost-effective interventions would go a long way in curbing, alleviating, and/or eradicating child wasting and the undue harmful effects of malnutrition.
The poet Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, known by her pseudonym Gabriela Mistral, poignantly and pertinently wrote: “We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the foundation of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made and his senses are being developed. To him, we cannot answer “Tomorrow”. His name is “Today”.” This was in1948, nogal.
In the end, it’s good to know that it’s never too late for any and all of us to take heed to Gabriela Mistral’s call to action: to do our best to give all children a headstart in life.
Waste Not, Want not!