West News Wire: According to a UNICEF report, the number of pregnant and nursing women suffering from acute malnutrition has increased by 25% in 12 African and Asian countries since 2020.
According to a UNICEF report released on Tuesday, the number of malnourished moms climbed from 5.5 million to 6.9 million in the last two years in nations severely hit by a global nutrition crisis aggravated by Ukraine’s war, famine, violence, and instability.
According to the report, more over one billion adolescent girls and women are suffering from undernutrition in the 12 nations of Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Yemen.
“The global hunger crisis is pushing millions of mothers and their children into hunger and severe malnutrition,” warned UNICEF executive director Catherine Russell.
Poor nutrition in pregnant and breastfeeding women can lead to several health issues for their children, including premature births, low birth weight, stunting and wasting in newborns, according to the report.
It added that children born to malnourished mothers are also more likely to develop chronic health problems and have a higher risk of mortality.
According to the report, half of stunting in children under two develops during pregnancy and the first six months of life, “the 500-day period when a child is fully dependent on maternal nutrition”.
About 51 million children under two develop stunting globally due to malnutrition.
“To prevent undernutrition in children, we must also address malnutrition in adolescent girls and women,” explained Russell.
The countries mentioned in the report face multiple crises, including conflict, displacement and devastating climate change effects, which have disrupted livelihoods and access to essential services.
“We know what it takes to get life-saving nutrition support and services to the women and children who need it most. We just need to mobilise the political will and resources to act. There is no time to waste,” said Russell.