Malnutrition Rises In Pregnant Women In 12 at-risk Countries

According to a new UN research, acute malnutrition among pregnant and nursing mothers has increased by 25% in 12 nations.

In 12 nations that have been heavily hit by rising food prices brought on by the violence in Ukraine, acute malnutrition among pregnant women and breastfeeding moms has increased by 25% over the past two years.

A report, released on Tuesday, the day before International Women’s Day, used surveys from the ten worst-hit African and Middle Eastern countries.

Women who are expecting or nursing may experience problems during pregnancy and delivery due to poor nutrition. Previous research has found that some sub-Saharan African nations have high infant mortality rates as a result of different issues.

According to the report, hunger causes a condition known as stunting in which 51 million children under the age of two are too small for their age. Half of these infants develop stunting during pregnancy or within the first six months of life.

The ramifications could persist for future generations if the international community does not take immediate action, according to report.

According to the report, the number of impacted girls and women in Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen, and Afghanistan climbed from 5.5 million in 2020 to 6.9 million in 2022.

To prevent micronutrient deficiencies, the report advises providing more nutrition support and fortifying commonly consumed staples like flour, cooking oil, and salt.

The research also suggests making sure that expectant and nursing moms have access to dietary services and supplements.

Sub-Saharan African nations with high teen pregnancy rates also have poor prenatal clinic attendance rates.

Although it is advised, Faith Kanini, 28, of Nairobi, Kenya, told Press that she cannot afford to visit the prenatal clinics.

For the few clinics I’ve been to, I pay cash. Because I am unemployed and rely on friends and relatives, it is expensive for me and I am unable to pay the NHIF (state health insurance) monthly charges, the soon-to-be mother said in a phone interview.

According to a survey, women from low-income families are twice as likely to be underweight than those from high-income families.

“South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa remain the heart of the nutrition problem among teenage girls and women, home to two out of every three adolescent girls and women suffering from underweight globally, and three out of every five adolescent girls and women with anemia,” the report states.

Written by Muhammad Qasim