Effects of Child Poverty in Africa

Topics: Africa, Poverty, Malnutrition Pages: 5 (1764 words) Published: May 27, 2011
Effects of Child Poverty in Africa
Throughout the world, children suffer and die every day from issues caused by poverty, a large number of poor children are in Africa. Poverty is the leading problem for the African children causing not only physical health issues; but emotional, educational, and social problems as well. Many of these children are very sick from the water they drink, not having enough food, or from extremely contagious diseases passed throughout their villages. Although poverty has the worst effect on people in Africa, poverty is a problem everywhere. It leaves people hungry, and sick, and with no real place to sleep. Some solutions to poverty are simple, but more people are needed to want to help. If more people took their time and money to go to Africa to help get the people health care, food, clean water, and education, so many African kids could group up like normal kids.

Just like for any child, these African children who are not given the basic needs for life such as food and clean water, suffer in every aspect of life. Most of the poor children have to worry about things at such a young age that most people never have to worry about, which messes up their emotional and mental state of mind. They have to worry about things like their and their family’s health issues, if they are going to get to eat, and making sure they walk to get water. On top of all that, many kids are orphaned at a very young age, which leaves them to take care of themselves and their younger siblings. If the child’s mental and emotional state gets messed up when they are so young, they will live with that the rest of their life. Many African children get little to no education due to simple things that they are not provided with. There are not enough schools in many of the more poverty stricken areas in Africa. Therefore, most children have no transportation so they have no choice but to walk miles to get to school, or not attend at all. Only 57% of kids in Africa are even enrolled in school. Out of the 57% enrolled, only 1 out of 3 of them will finish their education. These children strive for social gatherings and acceptance from peers, but don’t get to attend school to give them a normal social atmosphere.

There are so many major health issues that poverty has brought upon most African children. AIDS being the worse epidemic in Africa has left children orphaned, suffering, or dead. Nearly 2 million kids under the age of 14 in Africa are HIV-positive. Every three seconds AIDS kills a child in Africa, often before their fifth birthday. Children are also infected with cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, and pneumonia. Without treatment, all of these diseases progressively get worse and kill them. Most of these families are too poor to have health insurance, or any way of paying for medical attention, so they are left to suffer with devastating health issues.

Since most African kids are affected by poverty, there is very low amount of food and nourishment that they need to be healthy. This leaves more than 90 percent of them who are suffering from long-term malnourishment and vitamin deficiencies. “Malnutrition results from protein energy deficiency which is caused by the lack of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, among other things. Malnutrition also results from vitamin and mineral deficiencies.” (“World Hunger and Poverty” 3)

Out of all the kids in Africa, 30 percent of them weigh less than 80 percent of what their standard weight should be. About 5 million children die each year from malnourishment in Africa. Not only does the lack of food majorly affect the kids affected by poverty, but the water supply also has a huge impact on them. There are not enough water supplies that is near most of these people, or that is healthy and clean. Everyday children have to walk miles to the nearest water supply, which is mostly out of streams or rivers that live stock use too. The water is infested with...
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