Malnutrition And Hunger In Uganda
In Uganda today, over 2.4 million children are stunted, with 12% of the entire national population considered food insecure. Between 2013 and 2015, UNICEF also indicated that more than 567,621 children in Ugandan died and nearly half of these deaths were associated with undernutrition. Global studies also indicate that every year, 3.1 million children (8,500 children per day) die due to poor nutrition. Sadly, there are over 815 million people in the world who do not have enough to eat with approximately 28% of children badly affected.
Studies, such as the 2012 cost of hunger in Uganda, estimated that under-nutrition costs Uganda 1.8 trillion shillings (USD 450 million approximately), an equivalent of 5.6 per cent of the GDP annually. The combined effects of malnutrition on education costs associated with class repetition, health care costs and productivity, traps families in a vicious cycle of poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
Malnutrition in Uganda is generally caused by inadequate dietary intake resulting from poor access to a range of foods needed for a diversified diet, food insecurity, and lack of knowledge on basic nutrition and agriculture. This has resulted into death of children, reduced agricultural productivity due to a lot of time lost in treating illnesses associated with malnutrition, poor education and intellectual potential of schoolchildren resulting from stunting which causes children to start school late because they look too small for their age.
Unless such interventions that address the problem of malnutrition and food insecurity are prioritised, the country will continue to experience the negative effects of malnutrition.