COVID-19 will lead to 6.7 million additional ‘wasted’ children, say global bodies -Jagriti Chandra

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published Published on Jul 28, 2020   modified Modified on Jul 30, 2020

-The Hindu

Scale-up detection, expand nutrition coverage: UNICEF, FAO, WFP, WHO

The global prevalence of child wasting — lower weight for height — in 2020 could rise by 14.3%, translating into an additional 6.7 million children under the age of five suffering from it as the pandemic resulted in disruption of food systems and impeded access to healthcare services, according to a new study published in The Lancet on Tuesday.

Wasting is a predictor of child mortality as it renders children vulnerable to infectious diseases. One in ten deaths among children younger than five years in low and middle income countries is attributable to severe wasting. In India, 17% children are wasted, according to the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey of 2018. The Asia average for wasting is as low as 9.4%, according to the Global Nutrition Report 2020.

Before the pandemic, nearly 47 million children younger than five years were estimated to be affected by wasting globally. The new estimates presented in The Lancet study titled ‘Impacts of COVID-19 on childhood malnutrition and nutrition-related mortality’ bring the total figure for 2020 to 53.7 million children under five.

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The Hindu, 28 July, 2020,

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