Malnourishment :: India child malnourishment rates worse than Africa

The U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said, India has higher levels of malnourished children than Sub-Saharan Africa, despite the Asian giant having more funds and better infrastructure to tackle the problem.

A recent survey by the Indian health ministry, backed by UNICEF, has found that almost 46 percent of children under the age of three are undernourished.

About 35 percent of children in Sub-Saharan Africa region are malnourished.

“In terms of the under-nutrition levels, certainly India is at a much higher level than the average Sub-Saharan African country,” Werner Schultink, chief of child development and nutrition for UNICEF in India, has said.

Countries like Ethiopia fare better than India when you look at nutrition data, he said, with between 35 to 40 percent of children in the impoverished east African country having poor diets.

Schultink, said nutrition levels in India were not so much related to lack of food as was the case in many parts of Africa, but because of the frequency and quality of food intake of children.

The lack of knowledge of mothers on how to care for sick children and poor health services were further adding to more child deaths, said other UNICEF officials.

“Contrary to what happens in Africa where there are much less resources at hand, India has a transportation network, India has a budget, India has a very strong potential to address these issues on time,” said Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s chief of health in India.

Spirit India