TheMillennium Development Goals (MDG) were developed in 2000 by the UNMillennium Declaration in the bid to address disease, hunger,poverty, illiteracy, degradation of the environment as well as anyform of discrimination against women (WHO Statistics, 2015). Eightgoals were developed to address the above issues. The goals weretargeted at the developing world countries as well as the vulnerablepopulations that are present. Progress reports would be churned outon a regular basis to monitor how close to the realization of thegoals was present. In this paper, the goal that is of interest is MDG1, a goal that was tasked with ensuring that the number of people whosuffered from hunger attributed to extreme levels of poverty wasreduced by a half between 1990 and 2015 (WHO, 2015).
Thekey health indicators of the risk factors revolve around children. Itis critical to note that child growth gives an indication of thenutritional status of a country. In line with MDG 1, four indicatorsare critical, and these are underweight, stunted, wasted andoverweight (WHO Statistics, 2015). Stunting reflects undernutrition,both at birth and even before birth, and may portray incidences ofmalnutrition that is deemed to be very chronic. Underweight portrayswasting which may also be indicators of stunting. Overweightinstances are also evident in some vulnerable groups however,limited data is available on this topic.
Undernutritionis identified as a major cause of death in children below the age offive (WHO Statistics, 2015). The progress that was noted in halvingthe percentage of hunger to 15% by 2013 was not met when the globalstatistics were tallied (WHO Statistics, 2015). However, as per theregional statistics, the target was met in the Americas, WesternPacific, and the European regions, with other regions showing thepotential of achieving the 15% reduction target. A public healthinitiative intended to address MDG 1, will address the indicatorsthat are attributed to the risk factors surrounding the area ofreducing hunger, most importantly undernutrition. The initiative willbe facilitated by the provision of nutritious food to the vulnerablegroups where instances of malnutrition and undernutrition will bereduced in children and adults, and while doing so, ways to ensurethat these populations indulge in economic activities that wouldbetter their lives will be identified.
PublicHealth Program to address the MDG 1 Issues
TheMDG 1 is quite applicable in the developing countries especially inthe vulnerable segments of the population. The vulnerable populationsin Malawi that leave in areas bordering rivers are prone to disasterslike flash floods, occurrences which subject the residents in thisregions to hunger because of crop destruction. The children becomeaffected and as a result, display undernutrition, and malnutrition.The women are also affected and may, therefore, subject their unbornbabies to malnutrition.
Aprogram that addresses the initiative as mentioned above will look atthe needs of the Malawi people, in the Zomba region particularly. TheUN funded World Food Program dubbed the Namasalima Irrigation Projectin Malawi’s Zomba region (Kuwali, 2013) is the case study in thisrespect. The program was launched in the third quarter of 2012, andit targeted small-scale farmers in Malawi who were mostly affected byflash floods. Improvements of livelihood for the Malawian farmers aswell as the increment of crop yield were the goals for the project.The project outcome revealed that the low-income families in theregion were relieved from hunger (Kuwali, 2013). Undernutrition andmalnutrition cases in the vulnerable populations would be reduced, bythe embrace of the project.
Giventhe cultural economy in Malawi where individuals engage inagriculture, particularly, the cultivation of corn, the program wason the right track in offering education and training activities thatpertain to agriculture which would have a positive impact on thelivelihood of the people.
Costeffective strategies ought to guide the accessibility of agriculturaltechniques intended for the vulnerable populations in the developingworld. Here, mobilization of resources can be done by financialinstitutions to enhance the productivity of the target populations.Mobilization of savings and provision of loans can be facilitatedthus offering cost effective assistance to the targeted poor.
TheNamasalima Project in Zomba targeted about 2800 people who wereaffected by flash floods, an occurrence that would reduce theproductivity of their farms and whose outcome was the affectedpopulations being subjected to hunger (Kuwali, 2013). The projectsought to offer an intervention to this population and thus replicateresilience, to this target population, in response to disasters likeflash floods, which would be further expanded to other districts.
Theproject outcome would be assessed by looking at the identification ofperformance indicators of the project. In this respect, analysis ofthe targets that were intended by the project and which are in linewith the MDG 1 would be done. Identification of the standards thatare comparative would be done as well. Standard identificationprovides the means for addressing the key points for improvement frompast failures. Identification of the baselines is critical for notingthe actual gathered data which would help in looking at the projectimpact.
Kuwali,P. (2013). Winter Cropping: A Great Idea From Malawi. RetrievedOctober 17, 2016, fromhttps://www.wfp.org/stories/wfp-saves-thousands-hunger-through-winter-cropping
WHO.(2015). Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Retrieved October 17,2016, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs290/en/
WHOStatistics. (2015). World Health Statistics 2015. Retrieved October17, 2016, fromhttp://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/170250/1/9789240694439_eng.pdf?ua=1&ua=1