Slide Show: Children in Nicaragua Up Against Difficult Odds

BY Talea Miller  November 11, 2011 at 2:39 PM EDT


Eight-month-old Kesler is one of those infectiously happy babies who giggles at everything, even when his mother is scolding him for being too loud.

Kesler lives with his mother, Delma Marina Sala, in a one-room, tin-roofed home outside of Managua, Nicaragua. Every month since he was born, Sala has had to rush Kesler to the hospital at least once because of diarrhea so severe she worried he would die from dehydration. Her fears were not unwarranted: diarrheal disease is one of the main causes of death for young children in the country.

Friday night on the NewsHour, Ray Suarez will explore efforts to fight another major threat–the deadly lung infection pneumonia. Children in Nicaragua face difficult odds to survive and prosper into their young adult years. They are 44 percent more likely to die before their fifth birthdays than the Latin American average, according to the World Health Organization. Learn more about these challenges in the slide show above.

View more of our reporting from Nicaragua on our Global Health page.