October 8, 2013 | By Roger Thurow

A Global Conversation: Role of Nutrition in Maternal and Infant Health

For all the scientific breakthroughs and high-tech communication advances, simple gatherings on a veranda or under a shade tree remain among the most effective ways to spread the word about the importance of good nutrition in improving maternal and infant health. It works all over the world, be it in Uganda, India, Guatemala or Chicago.

Roger Thurow’s reporting is supported by The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.



In a small community center in Chuicavioc, Guatemala, where babies are weighed and measured and women receive health and nutrition support, a 1,000 Days cooking class organized by the clinic Primeros Pasos teaches the virtues of vegetable-rich soups.
Image by Roger Thurow. Guatemala, 2013.



In Chicago, the Ounce of Prevention organization offers health and nutrition information during home visits with pregnant women and new mothers. At a summer picnic for Ounce’s Healthy Parents and Babies program, home visitor Edna Lindsey advises new mom Keana Smylie while holding Keana’s five-month-old daughter Kassidy.
Image by Roger Thurow. Chicago, 2013.



Urban agriculture efforts, like Chicago Lights Urban Farm in the shadow of the city’s famed skyline, bring needed vegetables to neighborhoods located in “food deserts,” areas where fruits and vegetables are otherwise scarce.
Image by Roger Thurow. Chicago, 2013.



Outside the center, women of Chuicavioc tend to a small vegetable garden.
Image by Roger Thurow. Guatemala, 2013.



Maria Jolanda, with her son, works beside her friend Maria Estella on an exercise to fill the bowl with nutritious foods.
Image by Roger Thurow. Guatemala, 2013.



Guatemala’s food bowl is the center of attention at a Primeros Pasos class on the benefits of a balanced diet. 
Image by Roger Thurow. Guatemala, 2013.



"Meet the Power Foods," the same message for pregnant women and new moms in Chicago as in Uganda, India and Guatemala.
Image by Roger Thurow. Chicago, 2013.



In a Chicago high school, a real classroom is devoted to teen moms; it is a place where they can learn about healthy eating and get clothes and toys for their babies.
Image by Roger Thurow. Chicago, 2013.



Just a two-hour drive away, in a seemingly different world, a billboard rising high above an upscale neighborhood in the city of Lucknow promises “truly painless” labor and delivery.
Image by Roger Thurow. India, 2013.



Young women in the village of Rampur Khas — Meera, Kiran, Meena and Bhavana — are eager to learn about the latest health interventions at gatherings facilitated by a local organization called the Community Empowerment Lab.
Image by Roger Thurow. India, 2013.



In their maternal and infant health booklets, where they record the details of the 1,000 Days, pregnant women read about the importance of eating healthy and getting plenty of rest.
Image by Roger Thurow. India, 2013.



The 1,000 Days Classroom: Relaxing on the veranda of the local health center, pregnant women and moms with newborns focus on a nutrition and health care lesson.
Image by Roger Thurow. Uganda, 2013.



What Dads need to know: A poster on the door of the health center clinic exhorts men to bring their wives to a health facility for the delivery, breaking with old customs of giving birth at home. Image by Roger Thurow. Uganda, 2013.



In the rural area of Shivgarh, in Uttar Pradesh, India, health discussions often take place on shaded porches, with home-made fans at the ready.
Image by Roger Thurow. India, 2013.



Health center midwife Susan Ejang demonstrates the importance of eating healthy, nutritious foods during the 1,000 Days.
“Take good care and the next president of our country may come from this group!” she tells the women.
Image by Roger Thurow. Uganda, 2013.



Mothers and their infants gather in the Ugandan village of Barjwinya for a community meeting on the benefits of planting and eating nutrient-fortified crops like orange-flesh sweet potatoes and high-iron beans.
Image by Roger Thurow. Uganda, 2013.

Archive

| By Roger Thurow

A Wondrous Journey

Cruising down I-80 in the summer is one of the most wondrous, and paradoxical, drives in the country.


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1,000 Days and Migrant Stress

The first 1,000 days of a child's life is a critical time for development, where nutrition--and stability--lay the foundation for a lifetime. 



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Outrage and Inspire with Roger Thurow - Am I About to Lose My Second Child, Too?

The latest podcast in our ongoing series with Roger Thurow. Hear how even the best nutrition projects can be undermined by bad water, poor sanitation and hygiene, and lousy infrastructure.  From northern Uganda, we hear a mother’s agony when her healthy, robust child suddenly falls ill after a few sips of water…unclean water, it turned out.











Roger Thurow on SDG 2.2

Roger Thurow sat down with Farming First to talk about the individual and societal consequences of malnutrition. 



Multimedia

Videos


 


Digital Preview of The First 1,000 Days

In his new book, The First 1,000 Days, Council senior fellow Roger Thurow illuminates the 1,000 Days initiative to end early childhood malnutrition through the compelling stories of new mothers in Uganda, India, Guatemala, and Chicago. Get a first-look at photos and stories from the book in this new web interactive.

» Learn more.
» Order your copy of the book.

Books

The First 1,000 Days

Roger Thurow’s book will tell the story of the vital importance of proper nutrition and health care in the 1,000 days window from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday.

The 1,000 days period is the crucial period of development, when malnutrition can have severe life-long impacts on the individual, the family and society as a whole. Nutritional deficiencies that occur during this time are often overlooked, resulting in a hidden hunger. It is a problem of great human and economic dimensions, impacting rich and poor countries alike.

Learn more »

The Last Hunger Season

In The Last Hunger Season, the intimate dramas of the farmers' lives unfold amidst growing awareness that to feed the world's growing population, food production must double by 2050. How will the farmers, Africa, and a hungrier world deal with issues of water usage, land ownership, foreign investment, corruption, GMO's, the changing role of women, and the politics of foreign aid?

Learn more »

EnoughEnough

Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, award-winning writers on Africa, development, and agriculture, see famine as the result of bad policies spanning the political spectrum. In this compelling investigative narrative, they explain through vivid human stories how the agricultural revolutions that transformed Asia and Latin America stopped short in Africa, and how our sometimes well-intentioned strategies—alternating with ignorance and neglect—have conspired to keep the world’s poorest people hungry and unable to feed themselves.

Learn more »