Kanti had grown accustomed to the pain of chronic malnutrition. But the symptoms — body aches, frequent illnesses and cough — got even worse when she became pregnant with her first child.
As the expectant mother cared for their small home in Bangladesh, her husband, Babul, worked odd jobs. His income of about $1.20 a day bought them only enough food — always rice — for two small meals a day. Because Kanti wasn’t getting the nutrients she needed, neither was her baby.
Mala was born malnourished — and her health declined over the next three months because Kanti couldn’t produce milk for her. Like so many people living in poverty and facing food insecurity, the young mother was desperate.