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World News | Maternal malnutrition rates rise in 12 high-risk countries

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NAIROBI, March 8 (AP) — In 12 countries hit hard by rising food prices sparked by fighting in Ukraine over the past two years, the number of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers is high, according to a new United Nations report. Malnutrition rates have increased by 25%.

A UNICEF report released on Tuesday, the day before International Women’s Day, used surveys conducted in the 10 African countries and two Middle Eastern countries most affected by the food crisis.

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Malnutrition in pregnant and lactating women can lead to compromised immunity and complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Several countries in sub-Saharan Africa have documented high infant mortality rates due to various complications in previous studies.

Globally, 51 million children under the age of 2 are too short for their age due to malnutrition, a condition called stunting, and half of them are born during pregnancy or in the first six months of life, the report says Developmental delay within one month.

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“If the international community does not act urgently, the consequences could last for generations,” said UNICEF Executive Director Katherine Russell.

In Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen and Afghanistan, the number of girls and women affected will increase from 5.5 million in 2020 to 2022, the report says. 6.9 million.

UNICEF recommends increasing nutrition assistance and providing nutritional fortifiers for basic foods that are consumed in large quantities, such as flour, cooking oil and salt, to reduce micronutrient deficiencies.

The report also recommends ensuring that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers have access to nutritional services and supplements.

Some countries in sub-Saharan Africa have high rates of teenage pregnancy and low rates of antenatal clinic visits.

Faith Kanini, 28, who lives in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, told The Associated Press that despite being advised to go to a prenatal clinic, she cannot afford it.

“I pay cash for the few clinics I go to. It’s expensive for me and I can’t pay my NHIF (National Health Insurance) insurance every month because I’m unemployed and I’m dependent on friends and family,” said the The first-time mother said in a phone interview.

According to a UNICEF report, women from poor households are twice as likely to be underweight as women from the wealthiest households.

“South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa remain at the epicenter of the nutrition crisis for adolescent girls and women, with two-thirds of adolescent girls and women globally underweight and three-fifths of adolescent girls and women suffering from anemia,” the report added. (US Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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