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56% of five-year-old children are victims of malnutrition


Oct 17, 2023

BUJUMBURA October 16th (ABP) – The Research Department at the Light  University of Bujumbura joined the world to celebrate International Food Day, by organizing a public conference, Wednesday, October 11, 2023, in Bujumbura , under the theme: Health and Nutrition, a  check on the site by ABP has revealed.

                                             View of the participants

On that occasion, Marie José Bigendako, the ULBU Rector specified that this day is celebrated throughout the world on October 10 each year. She stressed that this university, through its Health and Nutrition research laboratory, prepared related presentations for that day in order to help the public fight against those defects caused by poor nutrition.

An unbalanced diet, she indicated, is the basis for the appearance and development of most of the most common chronic diseases today, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and so on.


In her presentation entitled “Factors associated with inadequate dietary diversification of children aged 6-23 months: Case of the Muramvya Health District,” Dr. Belyse Munezero indicated that a survey conducted in Burundi in 2020 showed that 56 % of children aged 5 are victims of malnutrition and only 16% of children aged 6-23 months have adequate dietary diversification. In the Muramvya Health District which was the subject of the study, 55.9% of infants aged 6-23 months present chronic malnutrition.

She did not forget to point out that the statistics differ depending on the position of the parents, the level of education and the monthly income of the latter. For example, families with a monthly income of more than 40,000 BIF have better dietary diversification compared to a family with a monthly income of 20,000 BIF. The higher the mother’s educational level, the more adequate an infant’s dietary diversification.

According to Dr. Munezero, the study showed that dietary diversification among infants aged 6-23 months in that health district of Muramvya still remains a challenge. That is due to the low consumption of dairy products and fruits/vegetables rich in vitamin A. She indicated that a balanced diet during the child’s first two years has a positive impact on the short and long term of it.

She closed her presentation by proposing possible solutions such as strengthening girls’ education, strengthening adult literacy, strengthening income-generating activities, and raising awareness on small livestock and fortified organic seeds.

Globally, less than a third of infants aged 6-23 months have adequate dietary diversification, she stressed.