Fellowship of the Least Coin Prayer concern for January: NUTRITION
January 2019-2028, United Nations Decade of Family Farming
Worldwide, women are at much higher risk than men of poor nutrition. As a result, they are also are more likely to develop anemia and related health complications. In 2011, the World Health Organization estimated anemia affected about 30 million non-pregnant women, 56 million pregnant women and 293 million preschool children, globally.
Anemia develops when there are too few functioning red blood cells. Risk factors include genetic disorders, diseases, infections, blood loss from menstruation and giving birth, or the nutritional demands of lactation. Without enough red blood cells to deliver oxygen to them, the other cells of the body are unable to create the energy needed for optimum health and activity.
Due to many cultures’ preferences for sons, girls and women often receive less food than boys and men. Yet they are expected to work hard, do chores, raise children, and care for the elderly. Anemia can cause pain and fatigue, mental changes and low birth weights. Chronic anemia taxes the lungs and heart.
“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40, NRSV)
Dear God, come into our hearts. Help us to care for girls and women so they can have clean water, adequate nutrition, iron supplements, mosquito netting and a chance to live healthy lives. Help us to do something for and with those whom the world considers “the least.” This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Dr. June M. James, O.M., Winnipeg, MB.