The World Health Organisation says no fewer than 59 million children in Africa are stunted while another 10 million are overweight. The UN health a
The World Health Organisation says no fewer than 59 million children in Africa are stunted while another 10 million are overweight.
The UN health agency also warned that Africa’s attempts to achieve health for all by 2030 could be threatened unless the continent address the twin challenges of under-nutrition and obesity.
Under-nutrition occurs when people do not get enough to eat, resulting in conditions such as wasting, which is when a child becomes dangerously thin.
On the other hand, people who are obese have body fat levels that may impair their health.
The WHO Regional Office for Africa called these two issues “the double burden of malnutrition”.
Together with diet-related non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, they are leading to “catastrophic costs” for citizens, communities and national healthcare systems across the continent.
The health experts at a WHO meeting in Nairobi, therefore, pressed for action to address the ‘double burden’ of malnutrition in Africa. “
A 2016 study showed an estimated 59 million children in Africa were stunted, which is when a child is too short for their height: another condition caused by under-nutrition.
Additionally, 14 million children suffered from wasting, which the WHO Office said is a strong predictor of mortality among children under five.