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Boko Haram halts progress against stunted growth

17 January 2017, 20:30

Abuja - The Boko Haram and resultant food insecurity are worsening the prevalence of stunted growth among children in Nigeria.

Nigeria has the highest number of stunted children in sub-Saharan Africa, and second highest globally. Some 33 percent of all children under five are classified as stunted.

The United Nations Children’s Fund expressed concern child malnutrition has been on a decline between 1990 and 2015 but current challenges were hampering progress.

The more dangerous form of malnutrition – wasting - is highest in the north where the Boko Haram has caused untold hardship.

Approximately 2,6 million Nigerian under five children are affected by severe acute malnutrition.

Also read: Boko Haram leader Shekau's new hideout uncovered

This accounts for one tenth of the global total.

These children are nine times likely to die than well nourished children.

It is feared if not treated about 500 000 of them will die.

“Even in states with low prevalence of severe acute malnutrition, still large populations are malnourished,” said a UNICEF spokesperson.

There is belief of a correlation between the nutritional status of a child and the mother.

More women are becoming malnourished in Nigeria with the situation worst in the north.

The majority of women with malnourished children are poor, uneducated and have limited access to health, water and sanitation

 

- CAJ News

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