Myanmar pledges national action to tackle child stunting and micronutrient deficiencies

By Millette Burgos contact

- Last updated on GMT

Myanmar's Ministry of Health to hold regular meetings to discuss nutrition  © iStock
Myanmar's Ministry of Health to hold regular meetings to discuss nutrition © iStock

Related tags: Nutrition

Myanmar has vowed to tackle child stunting and widespread micronutrient deficiencies, and include nutritional wellbeing in its national development planning.

These are the key outcomes from the country’s first National Coordination Meeting on Nutrition, chaired recently by Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

According to the 2015 to 2016 Myanmar Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS) implemented by the Ministry of Health and Sports, the physical growth of 29% of Myanmar children under five years old are stunted, and that micronutrient deficiencies are widespread.

The study said iron deficiencies in both children aged 6-59 months (57%) and women aged 15-49 years (47%) are severely high.

Prior to the meeting, the State Counsellor visited several mothers with young children in their homes in Kyee village to discuss nutrition.

Other key strategy outcomes from the meeting included recognising the importance of good nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, and beyond.

The Ministry of Health also plans to hold regular meetings of the cross-sectoral group, including state and regional representation to continue to discuss coordination on nutrition.

The Myanmar government says it will continue building a solid base of evidence on nutrition, while striving to procure goods that support nutrition initiatives locally.

Representatives from six donor countries – the UK, the EU, Australia, Switzerland, Denmark and the US, participated in the meeting.

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