© UNICEF Sudan

For a child, good nutrition begins at conception. This is the start of the critical first 1,000 days, spanning from pregnancy to the child’s second birthday. Proper nutrition of the mother during pregnancy is essential. Then for the first six months a baby should have only breastmilk, followed by the timely introduction of nutritious complementary foods while continuting to breastfeed to the age of two. These practices lay the foundation for a healthy childhood. Without them, a child may not grow properly and can become malnourished.

In measuring malnutrition across countries, Sudan ranks as one of the worst in the world. Beyond the immediate danger, the lingering physical and developmental effects of malnourishment can doom a child to a lifetime of complications. The effects are irreversible.

Over 2 million children under the age of five here suffer from inadequate growth. These children are termed ‘stunted’. A stunted child in Sudan is more likely to die from disease, and more likely to perform poorly in school. The result is lower learning and eventually lower income potential, and a tightening of the grip of poverty on the child and his family.

Beyond stunting, over half a million children here have severe acute malnutrition; they are at risk of death.

UNICEF Sudan nutrition programme





Facts and figures on child and maternal health and nutrition in Sudan

Download UNICEF's fact sheet on health and nutrition in Sudan (PDF)

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