February 19, 2016

Recommended Reading

The First 1,000 Days highlights the multi-dimensional nature of child nutrition—everything from food access, water and sanitation, government policy, violence, to poverty can impact a child’s ability to reach his or her potential. Check out these recent developments that are influencing early child growth and development, and remember to preorder your copy of The First 1,000 Days.
 
Support for Breast-Feeding, in a Multitude of Ways, Jane E. Brody, The New York Times
With access to timely information, professional and workplace support, and hands-on help when needed, many more women would breastfeed their babies, and do so exclusively for the first half year of life as recommended by the WHO. Today, more than three-fourths of women start to breast-feed, although more than half end up weaning their babies sooner than they would have liked, often short of six months. During pregnancy, women trying to decide whether to breast-feed deserve to be informed about its benefits and barriers and be given an opportunity and assistance to find ways around any obstacles.
 
How to Reduce India’s Infant Mortality Rate, Suryatapa BhattacharyaThe Wall Street Journal
Child mortality rates in India could be significantly reduced if community health workers visited new mothers regularly, a new study suggests. The study, published in the Lancet, aimed to find ways to reduce India’s child mortality rate, which lags behind most of its neighbors including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Researchers followed health workers who visited rural homes after a child was born and encouraged women to access post-natal programs to learn about nutrition, vaccination schedules, and breastfeeding. Some of the simple, yet effective, lessons came from teaching new mothers how to wrap newborns to prevent exposure to cold, skin-to-skin care, birth preparedness, and making sure they reached a hospital in time for medical care.
 
How Text Messages and Volunteer Midwives Are Saving Lives in Rwanda, Sophie GoodchildThe Guardian
Rwanda’s 45,000 community health workers, including 15,000 dedicated to improving maternity support, are helping to transform healthcare in rural areas. Elected by village committees, these volunteers have contributed significantly to Rwanda’s progress in reducing the deaths of mothers and young children. Behind this success is RapidSMS, a simple mobile phone and data collection system used by health workers to monitor pregnant women and newborns. Piloted by the health ministry in 2009, the service enables healthcare workers to track child nutrition as well as analyze maternal deaths.
 
Measuring the Cost of Hunger in Africa's Emerging Economies, The Guardian
Africa is home to the world’s fourth largest economy, holds one-third of the world’s mineral reserves and one-tenth of its oil. Economic growth in the last decade has averaged more than 5 percent per year, yet nearly a third of the estimated 868 million people affected by hunger and food insecurity live on the continent. There are more children that are stunted—they are short for their age, an indicator of chronic malnutrition—in Africa than there were 20 years ago, a situation that poses a major risk to future economic development. 

Archive



| By Roger Thurow

The Ryan Budget and One Particularly Pernicious Paragraph

Since Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, many people have peered into the House budget plan that the Wisconsin Congressman shaped - the so-called Ryan budget — to see what it might portend for a Romney-Ryan administration.

| By Roger Thurow

The Games and Hunger – True Inspiration

The London Summer Olympics have been chock full of wondrous achievements and inspiring moments: Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Sarah Attar, Oscar Pistorious, an impressive roster of African athletes rising from deep poverty to the medal platform. Just imagine the journey from Somalia or Sudan to a stadium filled with 80,000 people, flashbulbs sparkling like stars. Amazing.

| By Roger Thurow

Let's Keep the Focus This Time

Are we paying attention now? The shriveled corn and wilting beans and severely parched soil of the U.S. farm belt are trying to tell us something: focus on the global food chain.

| By Roger Thurow

From AIDS to Agriculture

As we have heard during this week's international conference in Washington, D.C., there has been wondrous progress on the AIDS treatment front since President George W. Bush launched the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) nearly a decade ago.


| By Roger Thurow

Just Do It

With the London Olympics approaching, it is time that we dusted off the old Nike solgan - Just Do It - and apply it to the agricultural development front.

| By Roger Thurow

Derailing Momentum

There is no doubt that the financial crisis roiling Europe has unsettled world markets, scrambled politics, shaken re-election prospects in several countries and darkened many 401-k prospects.  But as the drama stretches on and on, another mighty impact is emerging: it is derailing the momentum to fight hunger and poverty through agricultural development.

| By Roger Thurow

A Beautiful Day

It was a beautiful day, as Bono might sing, when President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton and a phalanx of corporate leaders, and the Irish rock star himself, gathered in Washington DC on May 18 to shift the effort to end hunger through agricultural development into a higher gear.

| By Roger Thurow

Neglect Reversed, Now Keep the Focus

Too poor, too remote, too insignificant.  That was the unofficial mantra behind the neglect of smallholder farmers in Africa for the past four decades.  It was recited by the farmers’ own governments, by rich world governments, by development institutions large and small, by the private sector.  It has left Africa’s farmers far behind those in the rest of the world.  It has left them unable to feed their own families throughout the year.  It has given rise to that horrible oxymoron “hungry farmers.”

| By Roger Thurow

Fighting the Injustice of Hunger

President Barack Obama issued an "all hands on deck" command to combat chronic hunger and malnutrition, which he said was "an outrage and an affront to who we are."

| By Roger Thurow

A Transformational Day

The Chicago Council Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security opened with a jolt of urgency and possibility.



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 »