Correlates of child undernutrition in Yemen

in Bandung

Malnutrition is part of a vicious cycle involving biological and social aspects. Some factors are directly associated with malnutrition, such as inadequate dietary intake and incidence of disease, while others (socio-economic in nature) are more distant but no less important. This paper aims at identifying the main correlates of stunting among Yemeni children through a logistic regression model. The results are based on the fourth round of the National Social Protection Monitoring Survey conducted in 2013; which makes this study a baseline assessment of Yemeni child undernutrition before the ongoing civil war. Primarily addressing the most significant factors associated with stunting in Yemen is urgent especially if one considers the country’s constant public budget shortages. There are significant differences—in prevalence of child stunting— between regions of residence that could be reduced by putting in place local policies aimed at increasing population access to adequate water and good hygiene practices. The Social Welfare Fund (SWF) programme is also important since this benefit is the only source of income for some families. However, if corruption, regional and civil conflict continues, improvements in the SWF will probably not matter. Such interventions, together with policies for changing attitudes towards women’s education, would also help to promote proper child feeding practices. Likewise, cultural aspects can explain the aetiology of children’s poor growth. Examples include feeding taboos that influence early initiation and duration of breastfeeding. With so many steps to be taken to prevent child malnutrition, it cannot remain an invisible problem.

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Correlates of child undernutrition in Yemen

in Bandung

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