Archives KitoOnlus

The problem of malnutrition in the Philippines

288c1cb17cca2e453f3412b31361-grandeDear Friends,

Malnutrition is  a term that refers to both undernutrition and  over nutrition. Undernutrition results from undernourishment, defined by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as “a level of food intake insufficient to meet dietary energy requirements”. Undernourished people constantly live on less than required number of calories and don’t receive essential vitamins and nutrients. It is the cause of death for more than 2.5 million children every year, and 1/3 of all deaths in children under the age of 5 in developing countries are linked to undernourishment.

There’s still a lot to be done when it comes to the big problem of hunger and malnutrition among children in the Philippines. A Social Weather Stations poll also found that 43% or an estimated 9.3 million families consider themselves food-poor or are unable to feed themselves the right quality and quantity of food. What exacerbates the problem is the frequent occurrence of disasters that leave many victims and survivors alike hungry, like happen especially in the areas of Eastern Visayas where Super Typhoon Yolanda hit in November 2013. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) together with the World Food Programme (WFP) are working in projects such us #ZeroHunger and the #HungerProject in order to fight the phenomenon.

Kito Onlus, thanks to the work of the Kito-Health in San Fernando, is taking care of the wellness of the children of the community, for example with the distribution of Vitamins A, essential for the right grow and development of the body, and the constant monitoring of their weight and height. Hunger can be stopped, food security must become a priority!

One year after Yolanda

typhoon hayanDear supporters,

Exactly a year ago, on November 8, the Super Typhoon Yolanda (international code: Haiyan), one of the most powerful storms ever recorded to hit land, made several landfalls in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. Haiyan left more than 7,350 people dead or missing as winds of 315 kilometers an hour and tsunami-like storm surges devastated poor farming and fishing communities: overall, the disaster has affected an estimated 16 million people and left 4 million displaced. It cost communities billions of pesos worth of damage, and international humanitarian groups say it may take up to 5 years more for these communities to be really recover. The typhoon was an extreme weather event consistent with man-made climate change.

According to the World Health Organization, 600 health facilities in Yolanda-affected areas “sustained fairly significant damage,” but repair in two-thirds of these has yet to begin. The filipino health department said that most of the damaged facilities are barangay health stations, followed by rural health units, and hospitals.

Now that the relief phase, that is about saving lives, has finished, the rehabilitation has started: we need to help Filipino people to restore their dignity by being involved in their own recovery. Kito Onlus, with its Health Center Unit, has helped the municipality of San Fernando, La Union: the Kito-Health operates as a first aid center, and at the moment health, nutrition and hygiene trainings are conducted there. We are supporting also the community of San Francisco, Camotes Islands, with a school’s rehabilitation project and the “Cash for Work” formula, thanks to which it has been possible to employ local people (25 families) in the “environmental rehabilitation” after the damages caused by the typhoon.

A lot of goals has been achieved thanks to your help, but a lot more still have to be done… support Kito Onlus in helping the Filipino people to fully recover by the Typhoon Haiyan and be prepared to face other natural disasters!

The activities of Kito Onlus presented in Sudan!

sudanDear Followers,

The 3th of November our President, Paola Vecchiato, has been hosted by the Architect Osman El Kehir (ARC-PEACE Organization) at the Sweden House, in the International Park of Khartoum (Sudan), to describe her professional experience in the field of rebuilding and restoration in the emergency contests, and in particular to present the activities of Kito Onlus.

Professionals, delegates of UN agencies, NGOs and the Italian Cooperation attended the event, and an interesting discussion took place on the possibility to use Kito HUT in Sudan as a mobile center for refugees at the borders with South Sudan and Eritrea. Indeed, the Kito HUT has specific characteristics that makes it particularly suitable for this task:  it can be moved easily and quickly to different entrance spots without need of land authorization and any supplementary supports, like electricity, external buildings etc., since it is completely auto-sustainable.

According to the UN Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) the trafficking and abduction of asylum-seekers and refugees, as well as the continuous arrival of unaccompanied children, remain one of the major concerns specially in the East of Sudan. The refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia have sought asylum for the last 40 years due to human rights abuse or forced conscription in their countries of origin. The country is also experiencing the problem of Sudanese internally displaced persons (IDPs) who moved within Sudan to escape fighting in Darfur, and of South Sudanese individuals who are at risk of statelessness.

Anti-Polio and Anti-Measles vaccination campaigns

Anti PolioDear supporters,

Also the month of September has been full of activities for our Kito Unit in San Fernando, La Union. An Oral Polio Vaccine Mass Immunization Program for children aged 5 months – 5 years old has been reactivated by the Filipino Department of Health, and has been provided at the Kito Health Unit. Additionally, anti-measles and rubella (MMR) vaccines have been provided alongside of the polio vaccination: in the month of September 350 children under 5 years old had access to the treatment in the Kito Unit. 

Polio is a highly contagious disease that causes permanent disability and even death. It only takes drops of polio vaccine to protect a child from the dreaded disease. If the campaign will be successful and high routine immunization coverage will be sustained, polio will remain a vague memory from the distant past also in the Philippines, that was certified polio-free in 2000. For what it concerns the MMR vaccines, the Secretary of Health of the Philippines has declared that:

“The elimination of measles is part of the country’s commitment to achieve Millennium Development Goal #4 to reduce child mortality and this campaign is one step nearer to reach that goal and we are committed to minimize or totally interrupt the transmission of measles and rubella”

Our Health Unit is contributing to the success of the campaign, in order to protect the Filipino children and prevent the spread of diseases!

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