Stunting declines in Ugandan children, bolstering Uganda’s economy

The most recent Nutrition Situation Report by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) indicates that stunting among Ugandan children has dropped to 25% from 34% as nutrition and access to clean water improves.

Stunting is impaired growth and development as a result of chronic undernutrition, repeated infection and inadequate mental stimulation among children under 5 years.

World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that stunting causes poor cognition and educational performance, low adult wages, lost productivity and, when accompanied by excessive weight gain later in childhood, an increased risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases in adult life. And so reduction in stunting is a win for the economy.

“Chronic malnutrition, or lack of proper nutrition over time directly contributes to three times as many child deaths as food scarcity. Yet surpassingly, you don’t really hear about this hidden crisis through the morning news, twitter or headlines of major newspapers,” Cat Cora, an American chef said in the report.

The report was derived from a Uganda National Panel Survey by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicated that stunting was highest in the 12-23 months age group (32.5%). During a training of Government Communications Officers (GCOF) at the Eselle County Hotel, Najeera – Kampala, it was noted that there was a decline in wasting among children from 4.5% in 2009/10 to 3.2% in 2019/20, with a higher proportion of wasting in urban areas.

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