Child malnutrition in africa

The number of children with severe stunting due to malnutrition has increased in the past few years. Yet the international group Oxfam says the problem is absent from public debate in a country that is self-sufficient in food production. A lack of education and limited access to affordable, balanced foods are some of the main causes of hunger. These children eating their morning porridge are not in a school canteen, but in a rehabilitation center for malnourished children.

Child malnutrition in africa

Pan Afr Med J. Published online Aug 6. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Malnutrition is estimated to contribute to more than one third of all child deaths, although it is rarely listed as the direct cause. Poverty remains the major contributor to this ill.

The vicious cycle of poverty, disease and illness aggravates this situation. Grooming undernourished children causes children to start life at mentally sub optimal levels. This becomes a serious developmental threat. Lack of education especially amongst women disadvantages children, especially as far as healthy practices like breastfeeding and child healthy foods are concerned.

Child malnutrition in africa

Adverse climatic conditions have also played significant roles like droughts, poor soils and deforestation. Sociocultural barriers are major hindrances in some communities, with female children usually being the most affected. Corruption and lack of government interest and investment are key players that must be addressed to solve this problem.

A multisectorial approach is vital in tackling this problem.

Child malnutrition

Improvement in government policy, fight against corruption, adopting a horizontal approach in implementing programmes at community level must be recognized.

Genetically modified foods to increase food production and to survive adverse climatic conditions could be gateways in solving these problems.

Socio cultural peculiarities of each community are an essential base line consideration for the implementation of any nutrition health promotion programs. Malnutrition, Sub—Saharan Africa, corruption, multisectorial approach Introduction Malnutrition is estimated to contribute to more than one third of all child deaths, although it is rarely listed as the direct cause [ 1 ].

Protein-energy malnutrition PEMfirst described in the s, is observed most frequently in developing countries but has been described with increasing frequency in hospitalized and chronically ill children in the United States [ 4 ].

Poor environmental conditions may increase insect and protozoan infections and also contribute to environmental deficiencies in micronutrients. Overpopulation, more commonly seen in developing countries, can reduce food adequacy, leading to inadequate food intake or intake of foods of poor nutritional quality and quantity.

Conversely, the effects of malnutrition on individuals can create and maintain poverty, which can further hamper economic and social development [ 3 ].

This is explained with children starting life with low intellectual quotients and being impossible later to offer the best of their expected intellectual abilities. The distinction between the two forms of PEM is based on the presence of edema kwashiorkor or absence of edema marasmus.

Marasmus involves inadequate intake of protein and calories, whereas a child with kwashiorkor has fair-to-normal calorie intake with inadequate protein intake. Although significant clinical differences between kwashiorkor and marasmus are noted, some studies suggest that marasmus represents an adaptation to starvation whereas kwashiorkor represents a dys-adaptation to starvation.

In addition to PEM, children may be affected by micronutrient deficiencies, which also have a detrimental effect on growth and development. The most common and clinically significant micronutrient deficiencies in children and childbearing women throughout the world include deficiencies of iron, iodine, zinc, and vitamin A and are estimated to affect as many as two billion people.

Although fortification programs have helped diminish deficiencies of iodine and vitamin A in individuals in the United States, these deficiencies remain a significant cause of morbidity in developing countries, whereas deficiencies of vitamin C, B, and D have improved in recent years.

Micronutrient deficiencies and protein and calorie deficiencies must be addressed for optimal growth and development to be attained in these individuals.

Child Malnutrition 4 Per cent decline. million children in developing countries are still malnourished More than half of underweight children live in South Asia Sub-Saharan Africa:Angola, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Liberia, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland. Child malnutrition Child malnutrition estimates for the indicators stunting, wasting, overweight and underweight describe the magnitude and patterns of under- and overnutrition. Global and regional estimates in prevalence and numbers for each indicator are updated on a regular basis. The Socio-economic Impact of Child Malnutrition in Africa For Africa to benefit from the demographic dividend requires that the increase in the working-age population be complemented by quality human growth. The ‘Cost of Hunger in Africa’ (COHA) study highlights the economic and social implications of ignoring the variety of nutrition problems that children .

The search was limited to articles published in and after The bibliographies of the articles on hand were used to find other references. We also searched through indexes of major journals that publish on malnutrition in Sub-Saharan africa.

Of the articles we found only 29 were included in the final review. These were articles that had data on determining factors and burden of malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Malnutrition Cripples Child Development in South Africa

A critical analysis that entailed systematic review of these articles in Sub Saharan-Africa, relevant to malnutrition information was done. Current status of knowledge Context and Rationale The impact of malnutrition usually falls mainly on children under five years of age [ 1 ].

Conceptually speaking, malnutrition generally involves nutrition and obesity. Africa is going through a rapid sociodemographic transition, with an alarming increase in incidences of obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases stroke and myocardial infarction.

Our main focus will be under nutrition. Despite the millennium development goals target to reduce hunger by half bymajor failures have been recorded mainly in Africa. Out of the million people still suffering from hunger in the world, over million come from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Why child malnutrition is still a problem in South Africa 22 years into democracy

The situation is currently getting worse in this region as it moved from This increase has generally been attributed to poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, big family size, climate change, policy and corruption.Nearly half of child and infant deaths on the continent are attributed to inadequate nutrition; furthermore, lack of food causes children to be vulnerable to many diseases.

Yet approaches to relieving malnutrition in African children are often disorganized or disjointed. Proper nutrition is a powerful good: children who are well nourished are more likely to be healthy, productive and able to learn. Malnutrition is, by the same logic, devastating.

It blunts intellect, saps productivity, and perpetuates poverty for any family and society it touches. While. Children are the most affected by this problem, especially young children.

South Africa's problem of malnutrition is unique to other countries' malnutrition problems because South Africa is a primarily young country, with one third . Aug 06,  · Focusing on children under the age of five, who are the most affected by malnutrition in Sub Saharan Africa, a vicious cycle has been described to actually exist between poverty and malnutrition.

In fact, the World Bank estimates that on average individuals suffering from malnutrition lose 10 per cent of their potential lifetime earnings. Chronic malnutrition has been a persistent problem for young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Global Health Observatory (GHO) data

The region has now the world's highest rate of stunting among children (43 percent) and has shown little improvement over the past 15 years.

The Socio-economic Impact of Child Malnutrition in Africa For Africa to benefit from the demographic dividend requires that the increase in the working-age population be complemented by quality human growth. The ‘Cost of Hunger in Africa’ (COHA) study highlights the economic and social implications of ignoring the variety of nutrition problems that children .

Malnutrition Cripples Child Development in South Africa