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The Country Of A Country South West Africa

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Niger, a country located in North West Africa, is simply one of the poorest countries in the world. With the majority of its land occupied by dry, infertile desert, finding a secure source of food is next to impossible for many (Burki 1). Malnutrition is common and affects a large part of the population. 800,000 children under five years old die from acute malnutrition annually (Langendorf). A popular choice in Niger is to avoid the dry land by herding livestock for a living. However many still choose to grow pearl millet, one of the few plants able to grow in semi-arid regions, to feed their family (Sawaya 1). A small family in Niger, living just a few miles from the city of Zinder, attempts to feed their family by growing pearl millet.…show more content…
Unfortunately the family has no security regarding food and as a result the children are malnourished. This is not uncommon, as every other child in Niger suffers from chronic malnutrition (Burki 1). The mother also suffers from malnutrition due to lack of recovery time between births. In order to provide for their family, the parents often go hungry, but even this is not enough. The root of the children’s malnutrition comes from lack of access to food and insufficient income to buy food and care for themselves.

The family sells most of the millet harvest in order to get enough income to buy other types of food. They often struggle with trying to find a balance in how much millet to sell and how much to keep for their children. Although the millet farming does provide some food for the family, the more they take for themselves, the less income they receive. Still, the children’s diets are heavily made up of millet. While millet is a high energy grain and high in zinc, it lacks iron and vitamin A, nutrients that children depend on (Sawaya 1). As a result, not only are the children deficient in many essential vitamins, some of the children have anemia, a condition caused by iron deficiencies. Symptoms of anemia include dizziness, fatigue, chest pain and shortness of breath (Mayo Clinic). For a family that depends on their children’s health to produce a good harvest, nutrient deficiencies, especially anemia,
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