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Child malnutrition and the Millennium Development Goals: much haste but less speed?
  1. Raphael S Oruamabo
  1. Correspondence to Professor Raphael S Oruamabo, P. O. Box 126, Uniport Post Office, Shopping Complex, Choba, Port Harcourt, Nigeria; raphael_oruamabo{at}


The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide a framework for measuring the progress of nations. Several of these goals relate to child malnutrition, which remains an important contributor to child morbidity and mortality, accounting for approximately 45% of child deaths globally. A high proportion of undernourished children still live in Africa and parts of Asia, and the uneven rate of reduction in the prevalence of various types of child malnutrition among different income groups worldwide is worrying. Attempts to reduce child malnutrition should therefore begin from the grassroots by improving primary healthcare services in developing countries with particular focus on basic requirements. Adequate nutrition should be provided from birth, through infancy, preschool and early childhood to adolescence. The overall strategy should be one of careful and meticulous planning involving all development sectors with an emphasis on a bottom-up approach within a stable and disciplined polity; the MDGs will be only be useful if they are seen not as narrow objectives with unidirectional interventions but as multifaceted and co-ordinated. The setting of deadlines, whether 2015 or 2035, should not be emphasised so as to avoid hasty decision making. The top priority should be the implementation of the essential social services of basic education, primary healthcare, nutrition, reproductive health care, water and sanitation in partnership with the developed economies.

  • Child malnutrition
  • Millennium Development Goals
  • Societal Develpment Sectors
  • Urban/Rural disparity
  • Bottom-up approach

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