The COVID-19 lockdown in Uganda, the country now worst hit by the virus in Eastern Africa, is raising worries about children and vulnerable elders getting adequate nutrition. The malnutrition of children and vulnerable elders has long been a problem in Uganda, but measures to control the pandemic have cut off some of the vulnerable from government meals programs.
The coronavirus lockdown has disrupted most free meals programs in the country for very many vulnerable families. The absence of those meals puts a lot of tough spots in such families, in our sight as CCREP, an organization inspired to fight for a change in our community.
With children not being able to go to school, a lot of children have been deprived of having an opportunity of having access to food and the same faces some strong working elders whose businesses have been stopped. During the lockdown period, what we have found out is; many people have not been able to secure an income, to generate any form of income. People both in the formal sector and informal sector are suffering enormously as a result of this. The worst off are the children below school age, under age five, who in some cases suffer from severe malnutrition and stunted growth.
Over 43 children and 25 elders are not having access to food; it is a grave situation that requires urgent attention!
Children and the elders are not consuming enough food with the right nutrients that are needed for their growth and this is the immediate cause of malnutrition in them, in our observation. In infants and other children, it is due to poor infant feeding practices, where we find that most of the children are not breastfed. We need to remember that the greatest burden of all forms of malnutrition, is shouldered by children from the poorest and marginalized communities.
As the pandemic persists and more children and elders go hungry and suffer from malnutrition, achieving CCREP’s goal of “Fighting Hunger” in the community in this lockdown time is seriously in doubt. Thus we call upon people with large hearts to partner with CCREP to support such vulnerable families in this hard time of total lockdown. Please donate now – the need is critical!
God bless you!