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Addressing malnutrition in Nicaragua

Our second panel speaker was Dr. Francisco Gutierrez from Accion Medica Cristana, Nicaragua.  Dr. Gutierrez provided an overview of the country demographics and current challenges.  45% of Nicaraguans live on less than $1 a day.  The country has a history of war, natural disasters and currently experiences high levels of unemployment and food insecurity.  The poverty in Nicaragua stems from challenges to address injustice and a history of conflict in the region. 

Dr. Gutierrez displayed two maps showing the 117 provinces in Nicaragua.  The maps displayed food insecurity and chronic malnutrition in the country.  25% of children are at extreme health risk due to malnutrition.  Accion Medica Cristana seeks to respond to this and many other health concerns.

AMC is ecumenical, working with health professionals, experts and marginalized communities.  They started working in the country in 1984.  AMC's approach thinks critically about nutrition, public health and access to health care.  They believe in a holistic approach that looks at the physical, mental, spiritual aspects of human development.  They work with a vision of community participation, so people can participate as agents of change.  They target high risk, vulnerable communities where they identify the risks and create a plan for development. 

In response to malnutrition, AMC organizes mothers to help them respond to their children's malnutrition.  He displayed a cycle of development slide that showed the entire process of addressing malnutrition.  They educate people on how to farm the land.

AMC's work was featured in Bread's 2009 Offering of Letters video and handbook.  Be sure to watch the video here.  You can also read blog posts about Bread's visit to Nicaragua here.

 

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