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Childhood malnutrition in Timor Leste

Adriana de Andrade’s son, Juandro, is a survivor. When he was only eight months old he had difficulty breathing and became very sick from malnutrition.

Adriana now takes Juandro to Oxfam supplementary feeding classes in their village Lontale, where she learns how to:

  • Cook nutritious meals
  • Process fresh food so it lasts longer
  • Access ingredients that are high in protein

Much of the program is about reeducating the community through cooking demonstrations and showing parents how to add vegetables, meat and eggs to traditional rice porridge so children get more essential nutrients in their diets.

Hunger in Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste has a higher incidence of underweight children than either Ethiopia or Malawi.

Children are particularly vulnerable during the hungry season, where 47% under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition weakens the immune system and can lead to a heightened risk of illness and disease. Research has shown that the effects of chronic malnutrition are irreversible if it left untreated by the time a child reaches two or three years of age.

Find out more about our work in Timor-Leste.