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Growth monitoring: the key to child survival strategy in Nigeria

Abstract

Folashade O.M Akanbi and Chiamaka Anyarsor

Growth monitoring has been advocated as an effective, simple and inexpensive way of preventing most childhood malnutrition. In 1990, more than 12 million children in developing countries died before the age of five from diseases such as diarrhea, malnutrition, pneumonia, AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, by 2012, that number had dropped to 6.6 million, yet under five mortality rates remain unacceptably high, especially considering that most of these deaths are due to preventable or treatable causes. The child mortality MDG is one of the goals lagging farthest behind, more than half of all countries are not on track to reduce the under-five death rate by two-thirds by 2015. The World Bank is redoubling efforts in nutrition, health care, infrastructure, and the other areas that can help save children’s lives. UNICEF currently estimates that approximately 146 million children under five worldwide about one in four are underweight. Malnutrition is a direct cause of about half of the more than 10 million child deaths in the developing world each year. More of those deaths come from children who are mildly or moderately malnourished, due to their sheer numbers, as compared to those who are severely malnourished. Effective approaches to preventing malnutrition, especially mild and moderate malnutrition, are essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).This paper therefore, reviewed growth monitoring as an indicator for child survival.

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