2002 HEALTH AWARD
Cooperative for the Infantile Nutrition
As a father of five daughters and a medical doctor for more than 30 years, Abel Albino, M.D., knows the importance of keeping children healthy. Before he began his personal crusade to free the world of malnourished children, Albino could not sleep at night knowing he and his medical associates focused their work on the newest, most progressive medical issues in the country, while Argentinean children were still suffering from basic, age-old illnesses. In spite of recommendations from colleagues and friends, Albino resigned from his prominent position at Mendoza’s leading hospital in 1992 to dedicate his life to developing a strategy to combat malnutrition.
Albino created Cooperative for the Infantile Nutrition (CONIN), a nonprofit association focusing on the problem of infant malnutrition and its serious neurological consequences. CONIN tackles both prevention and treatment of malnutrition, making it a unique program in Argentina.
After being convinced underdevelopment is a result of malnutrition, Albino implemented 14 social programs to help children and their families. These programs led to the creation of others such as breastfeeding, health education, kindergarten, day-care for children, early stimulation, feeding assistance, alcoholism prevention, adult education, agricultural education and literacy programs. Even with these programs in place, Albino realized many malnourished children were past the point of prevention. A one-of-a-kind hospital was created to treat malnourished children who also have secondary health problems and who are at risk for social problems.