Hunger, Malnutrition and
by Margaret Kaggwa
• Nutrition science is study about
• Malnutrition is inadequate quality and
quantity of nutrients in a body
• Hunger is absence of foods to eat
• Stunting is being short for age
• Wasting is being too thin compared to age
• Underweight is being below weight for age
• The importance of nutrition in health and
socio economic development was fully
recognized at the Alma-Ata conference in
primary health care (PHC) in 1978, which
was listed as one of the major components
of PHC
Magnitude in Uganda
• 1995 UDHS showed that the proportion of
children under four years of age who had
chronic under nutrition or stunting,
decreased from 43% in the 1988/1989
survey, to 38%. Acute under nutrition or
wasting rose from 25 to 25% during the
same period. And the percentage of
children who are underweight increased
slightly from 23% to 25%. The national of
stunting children 2009/2010 33% (UDHS)
• According to The State of the World's
Children, UNICEF, 2007 0.9 Million
Children less than five die in developing
countries each year. Malnutrition and
hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent
of the deaths;
Top causes of morbidity/mortality
• In children under five years malnutrition is one of
the top ten causes of morbidity and mortality.
• Other three leading causes include malaria,
respiratory tract infections and diarrheas
• poor environmental sanitation,
• poor accessibility to physical health care
facilities, and the adverse health and social
consequences of HIV/AIDS.
Associated factors
• Poverty (population living in poverty
2009/2010 31% (UDHS) poverty is a
cause of hunger,
• Un adequate food and poor nutrition,
• lack of awareness of proper nutrition
• unbalanced types of food to give to the
• Health education gap on nutrition
• It is estimated that 1.9 million people in Uganda are food
insecure while about 6.0 million are moderately food
secure but are at the risk of becoming insecure.
• Malnutrition in children comes about as a social
economic issue among households that result in
• Diseases like malaria, respiratory infections and
HIV/AIDS contributes to the cause due to dehydration.
• 2008 UNAIDS Global Report on the AIDS Epidemic that
in the countries most heavily affected, HIV has reduced
life expectancy by more than 20 years, slowed economic
growth, and deepened household poverty.
• Malnutrition deficiencies of all forms significantly contribute to higher
morbidity and mortality especially the under five and women of child
bearing age.
• They delay the psychomotor mental and physical development. In
uterus, under nutrition of mother’s results in abortions, intra uterine
deaths, low birth weight babies and reduced chances of survival
before this age and deformations at birth.
• Under nutrition in childhood also reduces the capacity to take
advantage of health, education and employment opportunities (Jolly
et al 1985)
• In adulthood under nutrition interferes with resource fullness and
productivity. Thus nutritional status of a community is one of the
major indicators of general socio-economic development
Source of the problem
• Most malnourished children come from large families implying
competition for resources within the households to meet the needs
of the family.
• Knowledge on the factors which contribute to malnutrition is poor.
Most families have easy access to carbohydrates mainly banana
(matooke), which is the staple food especially in central and
southern districts of Uganda sweet, potatoes and cassava on which
they mainly feed their children.
• The people plant their own foods which are eaten in their house
holds. Purchase of expensive foods like proteins is impossible
especially to most households.
• Seasonal conditions like dry, heavy, floods and rain affect the
harvests leading to hunger that results in malnutrition due to
displacements like as it was in the northern region during the 20
years of war.
• Lack of comprehensive quality information contributes too to the
Indicators and solutions
• Nutrition indicators only in Kampala: stunted
constitute 22%, wasted - 7%, underweight - 10%
and women who are too thin - 5%, children with
anemia 52%, women with anemia - 33% (The
state of Uganda Population Report 2010).
• Networks like media, seminars; extension visits
etc play a major role to promote nutrition but are
limited to a few.
• Promote nutritional education at all school levels
in the curriculum to provide basic information on
Imported policies
• Could globalization be the answer to
hunger , malnutrition and nutrition when
some other countries are far behind?
Thank you

Hunger, malnutrition and Nutrition