The Miracle Cure for Hunger


Hunger kills many children around the world. Robin Basselin and Liz Waid share one overlooked miracle cure.

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Transcript


Voice 1

Welcome to Spotlight I’m Robin Basselin.

Voice 2

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 3

“What if food experts developed a miracle cure for childhood hunger? What if they developed a protein rich substance that does not require continued cool storage? A food that is free. A food that anyone could get - even people in far away towns like this one in Niger. Babies often die here because they are hungry. Is this miracle cure even possible?”

Voice 1

This is what Nicholas Kristof recently wrote in a story for the New York Times newspaper. He asked this question. And then he answered it. He wrote:

Voice 3

“This miracle cure already exists. It is breast milk.”

Voice 2

Today’s Spotlight is on one way to improve health all around the world. Many food and development experts believe that breastfeeding can reduce child hunger. It can also improve the lives of mothers and babies.

Voice 1

Undernutrition, or hunger, is a worldwide problem. The organization World Hunger estimates that in 2010, there were 925 million hungry people in the world. They were not able to get the food they needed. That is almost one in every seven people in the world! Most of these undernourished people live in developing countries.

Voice 2

The organization World Hunger says that children suffer the most from undernutrition. Many are sick for a long time. And if a child is suffering from a disease, hunger makes it worse. Hunger is responsible for about 5 million child deaths every year.

Voice 1

And many of these children were undernourished before they were born! That is because many pregnant women suffer from hunger too. A pregnant woman who is undernourished will have a baby with a low birth weight. Low birth-weight babies are usually unhealthy. And they may suffer many long-term problems like learning problems, blindness, poor health, and even death.

Voice 2

There are many things people must do to end world hunger. The problem may seem so large that people may not know where to begin to solve it. But many experts, and people like writer Nicholas Kristof, believe there is one simple thing that could improve lives immediately. That is breastfeeding. When a woman feeds a baby from her breasts, she is breastfeeding.

Voice 1

The World Health Organization, the WHO, says that a woman should breastfeed her baby. They say the baby should begin breastfeeding as soon as possible - the goal is within a half hour of birth. Then, the baby should only eat breast milk until it is six months old. They say the baby should be able to breastfeed “on demand” - that is, whenever he wants to eat. When he is six months old, he should also get good foods that are high in vitamins and other good substances. But, he should be able to breastfeed until he is at least two years old.

Voice 2

Many mothers begin to breastfeed their babies. But, there are some barriers that prevent them from following the WHO’s suggestions. First, many people may not know what to do - they do not have enough information about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be difficult for a mother. Sometimes it can be painful at the beginning. A baby may not be taking milk from the breast in the correct way. Or a mother may not have any help in breastfeeding. She may not have the support of an expert or the people around her.

Voice 1

Second, there are there are many wrong beliefs about what is healthy for a baby. Many people do not know how important a mother’s first milk - colostrum – is. Immediately after a baby is born the mother’s body begins producing colostrum. This is a thick yellow liquid. Some people believe this milk is not good. So, they feed the new baby with water or animal milk until the mother’s milk appears. But colostrum is filled with many good substances for the baby. Also, if a mother waits to start breastfeeding until her colostrum has passed, she may have more trouble getting her baby to breastfeed.

Voice 2

Another wrong belief is that breast milk is not enough food for a baby. This is one belief Nicholas Kristof has seen. He writes about human rights and poverty around the world. In June 2011, Kristof travelled through southern Niger. There, he met a young mother named Gayshita Abdullah. She told Kristof that on a hot day breast milk is not enough for a baby. He needs water too. She said if she cannot find water from a well she gets it from water collected on the ground.

Voice 1

But food experts say that babies do not need water. In fact, giving babies dirty water is extremely dangerous. This water can give babies diseases. It can make them sick with diarrhoea. The WHO says that diarrhoea and pneumonia are the most common causes of child death around the world. But breastfeeding can protect babies from these dangerous sicknesses. That is because breastmilk contains antibodies. These small helpful organisms travel from the mother to the baby through her milk. The WHO says that antibodies protect babies from common sicknesses like diarrhoea and pneumonia.

Voice 2

These are just a few of the good results of breastfeeding. But the WHO says that these good results also continue as a child grows. They say that adults who were breastfed as babies are often healthier than those who were not.

Voice 1

So could breastfeeding be the miracle cure for child hunger? Could this simple solution save millions of lives? As he travelled, Kristof also talked to Shawn Baker. Baker works with Helen Keller International. This organization works around the world to prevent blindness and reduce undernutrition.

Voice 2

Many organizations around the world, including Helen Keller International, work to encourage mothers to breastfeed. They give information about the good results of breastfeeding to health workers. These health workers can then give information and support to new mothers and their whole communities.

Voice 1

Baker believes that people may just think that breastfeeding is too simple a solution. He says people are looking for more exciting technological ways to improve the world’s hunger situation. He says:

Voice 4

“We have crushing evidence of breastfeeding’s effectiveness in reducing child deaths. It is the oldest food solution that people know. And everybody can get it. But the development community is concentrating too much on technological fixes. Breastfeeding has not gained the importance it should have.”

Voice 2

Breastfeeding cannot fix the whole world’s hunger problem. But, it can and should be one of the things people can do for babies. It is a first step toward fighting world hunger.

Voice 1

The writer and producer of this program was Liz Waid. The voices you heard were from the United States. All quotes were adapted and voiced by Spotlight. You can hear this program again on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called “The Miracle Cure for Hunger.”

Voice 2

You can also leave your comments on our website. Or you can email us at radio@radioenglish.net. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

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Question:

Is breastfeeding common in your country? What do you think are other important cures for the problem of hunger?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Phuc
said on August 28, 2011

I like your voices very much. I am a beginner studying English. I listen to you every day. I try to pronounce, repeat after you. Your voices are soft, clear, sweet. The voices of this lesson are absolutely wonderful.
Thank you so much.

Avatar Spotlight
Rain Bows
said on August 01, 2012

Phuc,
You should go to the fb spotlight page and find the video of Robbin Basselin, she is also really pretty and has a nice attitude.
Spotlight team, thanks for the program, I didn’t know about the colostrum, it is such an important think to know.
Greetings,
Sofía Miketta,
Manta-Ecuador.

Avatar Spotlight
Dangpham
said on October 04, 2013

hi Rain Brown
i am Viet Nam
i am new accountant. I learn E not good but i want to study E now. I like learning on the Spotlight. Can you tell me about the most methodof Spotlight ? i took part in the fb spotlight.
hihi.
can i have your name face book ?
Thank you . thanks you very much!

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vivianhuang
said on October 10, 2013

Breastfeeding is the best food for the newborn baby.It is perfect if the mother can breastfeed the baby till two years old.I felt so sorry that I did not do that as long because of some reasons.

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werw
said on August 03, 2015

What are you talking about????? Weman in developing countries can’t feed babyes not becous they don’t want do it. It usualy happen becouse thay are hungry too and thay even don’t have milk in thay breasts.

Avatar Spotlight
j
said on August 06, 2015

Hi dear friends
I found this site great since it combines both written and audio forms of scientific and updated issues in the best quality.
Best regards

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Honneur
said on June 26, 2019

This is a very good program that helps mothers all the world how to improve the feeding of their babies. In my country, there are a lot of comics and misinformation that makes new mothers all confused about breastfeeding and their babies are who paid the bill.

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on August 28, 2019

From .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Severino Ramos)
To spotlight program
Subject to answer the questions below
Date Wednesday 28, August 2019
São Paulo city SP Brazil

Dear Robin Basselin and Liz Waid
Thank you for producing more one great article for us Brazilian people and other people around the World.
Question 1 - Is breastfeeding common in your country?
Answer 1 - Yes, it is. Here in my country Brazil there is a treatment which the pregnant women do during their pregnancies.  So the doctors take care of the pregnant women and their future babies. Also, the doctors teach them how to feed their babies and tell them the importantance of the breastfeeding and colostrum have to their babies at the beginning of their lives.
Question 2 - What do you think are other important cures for the ploblem of hunger?
Answer 2 - I think that should have there is one important encouragement of birth control and Family planning to solve the problem of hunger.
Your regards,
God Bless you
Severino Ramos