‘Adopt measures to prevent malnutrition’

Kathmandu, January 7

Experts have stressed the need to adopt necessary measures to protect children from malnutrition that contributes to half of all child deaths across the world each year.

At an interaction organised by the Civil Society Alliance for Nutrition Nepal in the capital, participants noted that malnourished children were more susceptible to life-threatening diseases.

The data released by the World Health Organisation states that an infant dies every second in the world due to malnutrition.

Former secretary and Adviser to Nepal Malnutrition Academy Atmaran Pandey said the number of children suffering from malnutrition was very high in Nepal and that the number increased after the April and May earthquakes.

“As nutrition programmes carried out by the government have fallen short of the target, there has not been any significant progress towards reducing the number of malnourished children in the country.

Moreover, the April and May earthquakes led to an increase in the number of children suffering from malnutrition,” he said.

He also called for an integrated approach to tackle the scourge of malnutrition.

National Planning Commission Programme Director Radha Krishna Pradhan said poverty and social exclusion are one of the major causes of malnutrition among children.

Preference for junk food and packaged food items is also leading to malnutrition, he said.

As per the population survey carried out in 2011, 41 percent of children are suffering from malnutrition and stunted growth in Nepal.

In addition, at least 46 per cent of children below five years of age suffer from anemia.