Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nigerian Children Are The Most Mal-Nourished In The World

Nigeria ranks among India, Bangladesh, Peru and Pakistan  on the basis of countries where half of world’s most malnourished children live, writes JAYNE AUGOYE

Despite her potential for posterity, Nigeria has been listed as one of the five countries where half of the world’s malnourished children live.

According to a report by a UK-based charity organisation Save the Children, titled A life free from Hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition, Nigeria is listed alongside India, Bangladesh, Peru and Pakistan as countries  faced with malnutrition.

The survey recently published on the organisation’s website was carried out in the five countries by international polling agency,  Globescan, contracted by save the children.

In its analysis of  the causes of malnutrition with a focus on chronic malnutrition and stunting in children, it also identifies solutions that are proven to be effective.

With malnutrition statistics in Africa at a startling high rate, the report indicates, nearly two in five children on the continent – 60 million children — are stunted.

 At least three in 10 in all countries polled, and majorities in two (Peru and Nigeria), say they have reduced the quantity of food they buy for their family.

The poll results suggest that families may be eating less as a response to these rising prices The findings also suggest that variety in people’s dietsare being affected, with at least a third in all countries except Bangladesh saying that, at least sometimes, they eat the same staple food for a week at a time.

The problem of food quality and quality and variety appears most acute in Nigeria, where only one in four say they can ‘often’ afford such food.

The report further notes, “In Nigeria and India, the highest populated countries in Africa and South Asia respectively, parents appear to be struggling the most to feed their children. Specifically, about a quarter of parents in Nigeria (27%) and in India (24%) report that their children go without food for an entire day — not surprisingly, in both countries, those who have more than one child, are less educated or have low income are more likely to report this.”

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