The State of the World's Children 1998 - Nutrition

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Malnutrition is rarely regarded as an emergency; the children affected are not facing famine and betray few or no obvious signs. Yet the largely invisible crisis of malnutrition is implicated in more than half of all child deaths worldwide and violates children’s rights in profound ways, compromising their physical and mental development and helping perpetuate poverty. More widespread than many suspect — with one out of every three children affected — malnutrition lowers the productivity and abilities of entire societies. This chapter examines the scale of this intractable tragedy, the approaches that are helping resolve it and the new light that scientific research is shedding on it.
  • The silent emergency: In this section, the scale of malnutrition and the complex interplay of factors that cause it, including poor health services and discrimination against women, are presented.
  • Approaches that work: Community involvement, food fortification, growth monitoring and promotion, supplementation programmes — these are some of the many and often overlapping approaches that are changing, and saving, children’s lives.
  • Bringing science to bear:Vitamin A reduced maternal death rates by 44 per cent on average, according to a recent study. This section spotlights some of the breakthroughs that science is making in the fight for better nutrition.


Carol Bellamy

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