As a champion for women and girls, I’ve pushed to increase access to education, sanitation and health services for women and girls across Africa. Through this, I noticed that one major factor underlies success in all these areas: proper nutrition. Despite being the ones mostly in charge of cooking, women and girls are more likely to eat last and least — meaning they give up the best part of the meal to their husbands, sons and brothers before serving themselves.
A few years ago, I met with a group of doctors and scientists in Tanzania to discuss the challenge of getting more people on HIV treatment. Huge progress has been made in the fight against HIV through increased access to lifesaving AIDS drugs for millions of people around the world. And yet, only half of the 37 million people living with HIV are receiving treatment.
At the Nyarugusu medical dispensary in north-west Tanzania, Eva Paulo, 23, is in her 36th hour of labour. She paces barefoot in circles around the dusty yard behind the delivery room, her narrow back hunched in pain. Apart from her belly she is a slim woman with an angular face, her hair scraped back into rows of tidy plaits. When a contraction grips her, Paulo leans hard into the nearest tree, shuts her eyes and breathes silently as the sweat beads off her forehead.
The first mothers, with their tiny babies barely visible amid swathes of bright cloth, began arriving in the misty morning just after sunrise.

Some came on foot. Others hung off the back of piky-piky (motorcycles), traveling up to two hours to reach the Mlali Health Centre, a clinic in rural Mvomero district in Morogoro region, at the foot of the picturesque Uluguru mountains.
Nearly 40 individuals from a variety of Christian faiths and walks of life will converge on Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Oct. 4, to meet with members of Congress and encourage them not to forget the “least of these,” when budget planning. These faith leaders represent a broad coalition of organizations advocating around nutrition issues in the developing world, where nearly 8,000 children are still starving to death every day, and millions more suffer from stunting and wasting diseases brought on by food scarcity.

Subscribe to our newsletter to recieve the latest updates.