Child Nutrition Drops in Sri Lanka Amid Economic Crisis

Last Update: January 18, 2023, 23:39 IST

FILE PHOTO: A child looks outside his house amid the country's economic crisis in Bogavantlawa, Sri Lanka, April 29, 2022.  Reuters/Dinuka Lianwatte

FILE PHOTO: A child looks outside his house amid the country’s economic crisis in Bogavantlawa, Sri Lanka, April 29, 2022. Reuters/Dinuka Lianwatte

According to the report released in October, more than 43.4% of the country’s children under the age of 5 suffer from nutritional problems, of which 42.9% suffer from some form of malnutrition.

Sri Lanka is set to see an increase in the number of children suffering from various forms of malnutrition in 2022 for the first time in at least six years, a government report and health ministry figures show.

The island nation of 22 million people is battling rising prices, including food, mainly due to its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948.

According to the report released in October, more than 43.4% of the country’s children under the age of 5 suffer from nutritional problems, of which 42.9% suffer from some form of malnutrition.

Read with data available on the website of the health ministry’s Family Health Bureau, the numbers indicate that the percentage of children under five in 2022 will be underweight, stunted or wasting, after a steady decline since at least 2016. developed.

Around 1.4 million children under the age of five were registered with the country’s public health midwives body and the report surveyed under the same number.

While 15.3% of children in the country were found to be underweight, as against 12.2% last year, 10.1% suffered from wasting, and 9.2% suffered from stunted growth, the report said.

In 2021, 8.2% of children under the age of five were found to be wasted, while 7.4% were stunted.

“In 2022, the percentage of children under 5 years of age with any type of malnutrition (short stature, stunting, underweight, and stunting) is projected to increase as compared to 2021,” the report said.

“This trend is observed across all age groups (infant, 1-2 years, 2-5 years) and across all three regions (urban, rural and estate),” it said.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)