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Malnutrition, in all its forms, includes undernutrition, inadequate vitamins or minerals, overweight, obesity, and resulting diet-related noncommunicable diseases (17). It can lead to reduced immunity, impairing an individual’s ability to fight and recover from illness. At the same time, repeated infections can lead to malnutrition.
Cause of malnutrition
There are many different causes of malnutrition in Zambia. Repeated infections (including acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, and malaria) and suboptimal breastfeeding and other Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices that result in inadequate dietary intake are immediate causes, but underlying causes include lack of safe water, hygiene, and sanitation; food insecurity; high fertility; gender inequality; low secondary education levels; and poverty (20).
According to the World Health Organization (17), there are three broad groups:
There are a number of interventions that the Zambian Government has put in place for to help tackle issues relating to child health and nutrition. Under the Micronutrient Control Programme there is a focus on Vitamin A supplementation including the fortification of sugar. Zambia Sugar is supporting this programme, with its White Spoon products being fortified with Vitamin A.