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Lusa (File photo)
A World Food Program study to be released today (Wednesday) indicates that 26 percent of child deaths in Mozambique are associated with malnutrition, adding that the problem costs the country US$1.6 billion a year.
The study, ‘The Cost of Hunger in Africa’, also notes that 42.7 percent of children in Mozambique manifest low growth, and only 45.2 percent of those with malnutrition receive adequate health care.
“Most health problems associated with malnutrition occur before the child reaches three years of age,” the study says.
Infant mortality associated with malnutrition has reduced Mozambique’s workforce by 10 percent, and 60.2 percent of the adult population has suffered from growth problems as a child, it says.
The annual cost associated with child malnutrition, according to the document, is estimated at US$1.6 billion (1.4 billion euros), or 10.96 percent of gross domestic product.
“Children affected by growth problems are more likely to drop out of school. It is estimated that only 12 percent of affected adults in Mozambique have completed primary school, compared to 84 percent of those with normal growth,” the study notes.
The assessment says that a quarter of the country’s population is malnourished, although Mozambique in 2015 reached the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people who are hungry.
On the other hand, about a quarter of the population suffers from chronic food insecurity, which means that they do not know when they will next have a meal.
“Despite the gains that have been made, significant challenges remain for food and nutrition security,” the study reads.
According to WFP, malnutrition rates are persistently high among children due to high rates of infectious diseases, mainly malaria, and poor access to health, water and sanitation services.Source: Lusa
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