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Assessing progress towards SDG2: Trends and patterns of multiple malnutrition in young children under 5 in West and Central Africa

Pomati, Marco ORCID: and Nandy, Shailen ORCID: 2020. Assessing progress towards SDG2: Trends and patterns of multiple malnutrition in young children under 5 in West and Central Africa. Child Indicators Research 13 , pp. 1847-1873. 10.1007/s12187-019-09671-1

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The co-occurrence of different forms of malnutrition in young children is known to carry differential risks of morbity and mortality. Despite this, there are few, if any, systematic analyses of the prevalence of multiple anthropometric failures (or deficits) in young children under 5. This paper presents the results of the first such an analysis done on data from one of the poorest geographic regions of the world – West and Central Africa. Using data from the demographic and health surveys (DHS) and UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), the paper details the prevalence and patterning of child malnutrition using a combination of conventional measures and the Composite Index of Anthropometric Failure (CIAF) for the period 1990–2015. It shows the advantages of the CIAF indicator for gauging the full extent of malnutrition and the ability of an indicator of ‘Multiple Malnutrition’ to identify children under 5 with higher risk of mortality. It also shows how relatively little progress has been made in reducing the extent of malnutrition and emphasises the importance of tracking progress by looking at both rates and total number of affected children. Malnutrition across the region remains strongly associated with household wealth and education. Poorer, rural households are much more likely to experience malnutition, but the widespread prevalence of poor living conditions in urban areas has the potential to undermine any gains made in reducing malnutrition.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 1874-897X
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 September 2019
Date of Acceptance: 9 August 2019
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 12:08

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