P1010078 P1010079From farm to plate, make food safe. http://bit.ly/1EmkhnK

This past Tuesday was World Health Day and the emphasis this year is on Safe Food. I try to envision a world where everyone has access to safe and healthy food. According to the World Food Program over 40% of the children under the age of 5 in Nepal are stunted, 29% are underweight and 11% are wasted. http://bit.ly/1NUU9SP. We are researching the possibility of adding a seed distribution program to the AAMA Prenatal program in Rupakot and the surrounding villages as the women do not have the resources to purchase seeds for their kitchen gardens. We are always looking for ways to help the villagers without just “handing out American dollars'” but rather giving them the tools to be healthy and successful even when we have gone home. Through our travels and work in health camps we have seen first hand the results of malnutrition and improper food handling in the developing world. I truly believe that the impact of the lack of quality food sources coupled with food borne illnesses and intestinal worms leads to decreased productivity in the nation as a whole. There are many articles from UNICEF and WHO regarding these issues available on the Internet and it is timely that the World Health Day focus this year is Food Safety. People often ask me why the Nepali people don’t get sick from their food and water, and I tell them that they do get sick. The lack of infrastructure and resources leads to many health related issues. Pollution is rampant and when people urinate and defecate in open fields and on the sides of the road it is nearly impossible to avoid coming into contact with pathogens. Bacterial diarrhea, typhoid fever and Hepatitis A & E are leading causes of illness and death and are a direct result of improper food handling. I have learned so much about nutrition and vitamin deficiencies since beginning our work in Nepal. If we could only reach the young mothers and children and help them receive proper nutrition wouldn’t their brains grow? Wouldn’t they live more productive lives? Wouldn’t they be able to contribute to their country? The YES! For more information on how to join us in helping the Nepali people please see our website projectforavillage.org.