Children who suffer from malnutrition can experience its effects for life. In the short term, malnutrition results in higher rates of mortality and decreased cognitive, motor and language development. Long-term consequences include an increase in non-communicable diseases, low school performance, and decreased work capacity.
Ultimately, this affects society as a whole, limiting the ability of younger generations to advance out of poverty and contribute to Rwanda’s development. Child mortality associated with malnutrition has already reduced Rwanda’s workforce by 9 per cent.
Rwanda has made significant progress in the fight against malnutrition. Between 2010 and 2015, rates of chronic malnutrition among children under 5 years – known as ‘stunting’ – decreased from 44 per cent to 38 per cent. However, the current rates are still too high.