Over 4 lakh Nepali children malnourished

KATHMANDU: Around 430,000 children in the country are malnourished due to lack of nourishment and of them 91,000 are suffering from rapid malnutrition.

As per the information shared at a programme on rapid malnutrition organised here today by the Asian International Nepal (AIN), the children fall prey to rapid malnutrition for not getting adequate food, contamination of diseases and food insecurity.

Rapid malnourishment is the condition when a child is in a state of death due to underweight.

Sujaya Nepali Bhattacharya, Chief of the AIN's Nutrition and Health Division, says most children in Nepal are at the risk of suffering from rapid malnutrition due to inadequate food, disease infection and food insecurity.

A study carried out by the World Health Organisation states that globally one out of every 12 children suffers from rapid malnutrition and only one of them gets treated.

It was shared in the programme that children especially in the mid-hill and the Tarai districts of Nepal suffered from malnutrition leading to rapid malnutrition. Malnutrition can also be a cause for different diseases like pneumonia, cough and cold, diarrhoea and dysentery.

Bhattacharya said, citing various surveys, that children suffering from rapid malnutrition in the middle stage are three times prone to death and the children suffering from intense rapid malnutrition are nine times prone to death compared to the healthy ones.

It is estimated that presently 52 million children in the world suffer from rapid malnutrition. Ninety per cent of them are from South and South-East Asia.

Bhattacharya said the number of children suffering from rapid malnutrition might go up in the post-earthquake situation in Nepal also. Although the government has formulated various policies and programmes for prevention of malnutrition and rapid malnutrition, they have not reached the target groups.

The government has brought the National Policy on Malnutrition, the National Strategy, the Long-term Nutrition Plan and the Multi-Sector Nutrition Plan.

The government has the target of reducing the malnutrition rate to five per cent by 2017.