‘Kwashiorkor is a severe type of protein-deficiency malnutrition. It is most common in countries that are or have recently experienced famine, or in countries with rice or corn heavy diets, like Cambodia, and almost always afflicts children. Kwashiorkor has unique characteristics that make it easily recognizable: patients suffering from this protein deficiency often have distended stomachs (pot bellies), their hair often takes on an orange or yellow hue, and a burn-like rash often develops. A child with kwashiorkor may not appear malnourished—in fact, quite the opposite. The more malnourished the child becomes, the larger his stomach will grow, thus giving the appearance of health. This is a result of a build-up of fat in the liver, because the body is no longer able to process food.’

~Angkor Hospital


Wat Toul Tompong, Phnom Penh

Wat Toul Tompong, Phnom Penh

‘Malnutrition rates in Cambodia remain stubbornly high; almost 40 percent of children under 5 are chronically malnourished (stunted), over 28 percent are underweight and 10.9 percent are acutely malnourished (wasted). One out of five women are underweight.’ ~WFP


*There will be those who think it better not to show the faces of the afflicted. I understand that. However, this blog is lightly read and I believe that there is no chance family or friends of the little fella above will see this post.

6 thoughts on “Kwashiorkor

    • It’s easily treated- more calories, more protein. A full recovery is usual, although the child will probably be stunted for life.

      Cambodian receives huge sums of money from donors each year. It should help some such children. But it’s a kleptocracy here and not much reaches where it should…

  1. Pingback: Money or the Milk? | cambodian beginnings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s