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Trends of Child Wasting and Stunting in Uganda from 1995 to 2016, and Progress towards 65TH World Health Assembly Global Nutrition Targets
Authors: Edward Buzigi
Source: Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences, 6(4): 90-95; DOI: 10.11648/j.jfns.20180604.11
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Africa
Published: SEP 2018
Abstract: Between 1995 and 2016, the government of Uganda ratified several commitments to fight child undernutrition including achieving the 65th World Health Assembly (WHA) targets of reducing stunting and wasting by 2025. It is important we monitor such commitments to inform policy makers about the progress of their commitments. The objective of this study was to review national and regional trends of stunting and wasting in Uganda from 1995 to 2016, and assess progress towards the 65th WHA global nutrition targets for stunting and wasting. The Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys conducted from 1995 to 2016 were used to review national regional trends in stunting and wasting for children less than five years of age. At national level, the prevalence of wasting decreased from 5.3% in 1995 to 4.0% in 2016 while the prevalence of stunting decreased from 38.3% in 1995 to 29% in 2016. The annual reduction rate of stunting and wasting were 0.45% and 0.01% respectively. At regional level, the prevalence of wasting in Karamoja increased from 7.1% in 2011 to 10% in 2016, a similar trend of wasting was observed in west Nile (from 6.2 % in 2011 to 10.4 % in 2016), the prevalence of stunting (13.5% in 2011 to 18% in 2016) increased in Kampala region. In the year 2016, there was regional inequalities of stunting and wasting. Some regions were above or below the national prevalence. There was an overall decline of wasting and stunting in Uganda between 1995 and 2016, but the prevalence of stunting remained unacceptably high at 29%. By the year 2016, Uganda had already achieved the 65th WHA target for wasting but may not achieve for stunting by 2025 if the annual reduction rate of stunting remains low at 0.45%. These findings summarize progress achieved towards fighting stunting and wasting in the last two decades in Uganda and help identify regions that need feasible interventions. Keywords Stunting, Wasting, Trends, Uganda, 65th World Health Assembly