September 16, 2019
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 In GLIMUN2019: Infant and Child Nutrition

World Health Organization Committee

Infant and Child Nutrition

Turkey

Komal Patel

Forest Hills Eastern

 

In order to ensure their survival and their development, it is crucial for a child to get an adequate consumption of nutrients and vitamins in their early stages of life. Nevertheless, over 1.5 million children suffer from stunting: a low height relative to age. Insufficient nutrition also leaves children more likely like get an infection or disease. There are two parts of malnutrition: undernutrition (not consuming enough calories) and micronutrient deficiency (lack of necessary nutrients and minerals). To alleviate this problem, UNICEF and WHO have created the Global Breastfeeding Collective to rally political, legal, financial, and public support for breastfeeding. This organization aspires to give the technical, financial, emotional, and public support mothers need to breastfeed. WHO also formed the NetCode organization which is designed to ensure that breastmilk substitutes are not marketed inappropriately. Additionally, WHO and UNICEF developed “courses training health workers to provide skilled support to breastfeeding mothers, help them overcome problems, and monitor the growth of children, in order to identify early the risk of undernutrition or overweight/obesity” (who.int).

 

Although Turkey is taking measures to improve low infant and child nutrition numbers, it is an ongoing issue in the country. Turkey has a higher prevalence of stunting than any other European country with 10% stunting rates (data.unicef.org). In the lowest wealth groups, 22% of the children are stunted compared to 2.1% stunted children in the high wealth groups (siteresources.worldbank.org). In Turkey, vitamin and mineral deficiencies also impact the well-being of children as 12% of preschool children lack Vitamin A (worldbank.org). Turkey has paired with Ministry of Health (MoH) to support the government’s response to infant and child needs in the areas of immunization, early childhood development, and nutrition. This is to improve practices among refugee and migrant to prevent children from chronic malnutrition.

 

Turkey recommends to progress the “Promotion of Breastfeeding and Baby Friendly Hospitals” program in order to continue encouraging women to practice breastfeeding. To achieve this, women should be given clear instructions on how and when to practice it so their child can get the nutrition they need. Through breastfeeding infants up to six months can get the nutrients they need to reduce infection exposure and increase their immunity. Turkey also requests the UN provide funding for vaccinations for all children within the first five months of being born. Turkey additionally proposes to call for “agriculture, education, transport, gender, the food industry, health and other sectors, to ensure that diverse, nutritious diets are available and accessible to all house- hold members.” Turkey can further develop their work with the Ministry of Health to further reduce high rates of poor infant and child nutrition. Also, Turkey recommends the UN to inspect food policies and the regulatory system of the country because all those factors relate to the topic of obesity and overweight children. Turkey can further improve their high rates of infant and child nutrition by providing safer drinking water, sanitation facilities, immunization, and better health care services during their pregnancy. In addition, Turkey is taking great measures to provide all infants and children with the quality of nutrition and vitamins needed in their early stages of life so they can have an improved adulthood. If these implementations were put in place, the economy would gradually return to its state before EVD- with more tourism, a higher employment rate, more investors, etc.

 

  • Turkey
  • Komal Patel

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