High Economic Losses in Uganda Due to Late Effects of Micronutrient Deficiencies

High Economic Losses in Uganda Due to Late Effects of Micronutrient Deficiencies

In a situation analysis on the situation of children in Uganda (1), UNICEF and a steering committee of the Ugandan government have extrapolated the economic loss of value as a consequence of malnutrition within the country. USD 899 million worth of productivity is lost annually due to high levels of stunting, iodine-deficiency disorders and iron deficiency as well as low birth weight. The report clearly illustrates the regionally specific deficits in nutrition, education and health care of children as a function of the poverty rate in Uganda.

As an example, the report presents the results of a fieldwork conducted in 2014 in Kabale, a region in the southwestern tip of Uganda. Nearly 50% of the children in the South-West region were stunted in 2006, while in Kampala, the capital city, only 22% of those under five showed growth retardations. The 2014 fieldwork showed that there was little awareness in the local population of the importance of adequate nutrient intake during the first 1,000 days of life, that there was little perception of the short and long-term effects of growth delays, and that people mistrusted the local health workers. Gender inequality was stated as major driver for the continuation of stunting in children. In some cases, women do not have the opportunity to make their own purchasing decisions in the household, including the purchase of high-quality agricultural products, which are crucial for the healthy nutrition of children and pregnant woman.


Read and see more:

(1) UNICEF 2015. Situation Analysis of Children in Uganda, Page 3. Available via https://www.unicef.org/uganda/UNICEF_SitAn_7_2015_(Full_report).pdf

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