Today, people wear masks. These masks hide people’s faces and protect them from a disease they cannot see, but not all masks are visible. Some masks are invisible. One of these masks is glue and some use it to silence the stomach’s growl. In many developing countries, teenagers use glue as an inhalant drug to quell the cries of their stomach, a remedy for hunger pain. Unfortunately, there is little statistical data readily available on this topic, making any hope of reform nearly impossible. However, research from the National Institute of Health (NIH) has made the effects of sniffing glue evident.
According to NIH, inhalants can cause the following damage to the brain: distorted speech, poor bodily coordination, euphoria and dizziness. The brain is not the only part of the body that sniffing glue negatively affects. Long-term use can result in damage to the liver, kidney and bone marrow. Loss of physical coordination and delayed behavioral development can also occur.
A Prevalent Issue
Kimberly Solórzano, who works at a Honduran orphan care center, spoke with The Borgen Project about how sniffing glue impacts the long-term health of children and adolescents. Solórzano said, “They are just sniffing glue, and that is very common among teens coming out of these kinds of shack communities. They are sniffing glue to stay warm and to feel full when they’re hungry…just kind of becoming oblivious to the world around them due to their addiction.” Solórzano made The Borgen Project aware that many children who find themselves addicted to inhalants are uneducated about the long-term effects.
Unfortunately, this is an issue that touches all four corners of the world. In Kenya, estimates determine that 250,000 children sniff glue. In Nepal, a research study found that 88.46% of street children sniff glue and 89.13% were unaware of the effects of the inhalant. These alarmingly high statistics seem to hide the good news. However, there is hope for reform.
Hope is spelled “education.” Through proper education on the effects of inhalant use and methods for combating food shortages and world hunger, there is hope for drastic change. One organization that fights for educational reform in the area of global hunger is Bread for the World. Bread for the World focuses on sustainable progress, which it defines as “progress that is intended to be, and is capable of being, enduring- depends on addressing all of the issues in an interconnected manner.” Education on various food storage methods echoes sustainable progress. Specifically, Bread takes time to teach farmers in India how to properly contain vegetables, like corn.
Another goal of Bread is to witness the Sustainable Development Goals come to life. Bread states that “Universal secondary education, which is included in the Sustainable Development Goals, would no doubt lead to swifter progress in ending hunger and malnutrition.” Through secondary education for all, the remedy for hunger pain would no longer be inhalants but nutritious food. Education is key and Bread is fully aware of this fact.
Thankfully, Bread is one of many United States nonprofits working to end global hunger. Together, these organizations make a lasting impact by bringing educational and congressional reform on the topic of global hunger, provide nutritious food as a remedy for hunger pain and create a lasting impact from generation to generation.
– Chatham Kennedy