With over one quarter of Zimbabwean children stunted, concerted efforts are being made to reduce this crippling condition. Stunting slows down children’s growth and brain development affecting performance in school and its impacts are felt later on in life.
Studies done in country in children 6 to 59 months have shown that:
- One in four children has vitamin A deficiency.
- About 72% are living with iron deficiency, while
- One in three have iron deficiency anaemia
In women of reproductive age:
- One in four women have vitamin A deficiency
- Six in ten women have iron deficiency, while 26% are anaemic.
Child nutrition in the country is affected by a mix of factors, including:
- inadequate knowledge among mothers and caregivers of appropriate and healthy diets, especially in the first 1,000 days of life. Only 4% of children in Zimbabwe are receiving a minimum acceptable diet (NNS, 2018)
- weak coordination and inadequate resources for high-impact nutrition interventions (nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions)
- Inadequate knowledge and practices about water, sanitation and hygiene and other pro-health measures, such as immunization, family planning and malaria control.