Safe Food Practices

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 88% of diarrheal diseases worldwide are caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene. Orphaned children are at risk for food and water-borne illness because they live in institutions, foster families or communities that lack access to a safe water source, and have poor sanitation and hygiene practices. For many orphaned children, illness and malnutrition occur as a never-ending cycle: illness increases the risk for malnutrition; and malnutrition increases the risk for illness. Diarrhea combined with malnutrition can weaken a child’s immune system and put them at risk for other illnesses, such as acute respiratory infections (ARI). According to UNICEF, ARI and diarrhea combined account for two-thirds of child deaths worldwide. Fortunately, improved sanitation and food preparation practices in institutional and foster settings can help reduce orphaned children’s risk for illness and malnutrition.

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