Nourishing Adolescent Mothers

In 2010, Guatemala signed on to Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN), a global campaign to reduce chronic child malnutrition, geared to a child’s first 1,000 days, from conception to 2 years.

However, the initiative fails to recognize the needs and rights of pregnant adolescents and teen mothers who bring their children to rural health centers for care, writes David Flood, a physician with a Guatemalan NGO that runs a nutrition program for infants.

He cites the research of Alejandra Colom, senior program director for the NGO Population Council, who argues that adolescent mothers in Guatemala are also children—and often victims of rape or assault—and deserve specialized care. 

“We must consider the rights of these vulnerable girls and not only the rights of their infants,” Colom writes.


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