Ethiopia has made a significant progress in reducing child malnutrition for children aged 6 to 23 months, with the malnutrition rate going down to 38 percent in 2016 from 58 percent in 2000.
The revelation was made by United Nations International Children’s and Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Ethiopia Representative Siddig Ibrahim on Thursday while also attributing the East African country’s success to government commitment to end malnutrition.
Ibrahim further says Ethiopia is committed to further reducing stunting among children, which is a priority to ensure the wellbeing of children and sustained economic growth.
Director of Maternal and Child Health at the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, Ephrem Tekle said on his part the period from 6-8 months when children transit from exclusive breastfeeding to crop-based complimentary feeding are critical.
“As these periods are crucial for the healthy growth of children, the government has been engaged in community mobilization works through health and agriculture extension programs to reduce child malnutrition”, he added.
Tekle pointed out that monthly child malnutrition monitoring program and feeding children suffering from stunting is also one of the strategies that has been implemented to improve the complimentary feeding practice throughout the country.
A study conducted by UNICEF, shows an estimated 5.7 million children are stunted in Ethiopia due to the combined effects of poor malnutrition, repeated infection and inadequate psychosocial stimulation.