The risk to child nutrition during and after COVID-19 pandemic: what to expect and how to respond.
This study aimed to address the key areas of concern for child nutrition, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and proposes strategic responses to reduce child undernutrition in the short and long term.A descriptive literature review was performed. The search of the literature was conducted through using electronic databases including PubMed, Web of science, google scholar, and Cochrane library.A wide range of published articles focused on child malnutrition were reviewed.The study was focused on children especially those under five years.This study proposes strategic responses to reduce child undernutrition. These responses include strengthening access to community-based nutrition services that support the early detection and treatment of undernourished children and emergency food distribution, including fortified foods with vitamins and minerals, to vulnerable households, particularly those with children under five years. Moreover, counseling and promotion programs should be reinforced to revitalize community nutrition education in areas such as gestation, exclusive breastfeeding, and complementary feeding, and hygienic practices involving handwashing, proper sanitation, and other basic behavioral changes.The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many countries especially those in the regions of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa in which there has been an ongoing burden of child undernutrition. However, malnutrition is preventable and can be eliminated through a multisectoral strategic approach. The effective execution of a multisectoral approach toward preventing childhood malnutrition will require not only a financial investment but also the collective efforts from different ministries of the governments, UN-affiliated agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.
Authors: James Ntambara, Minjie Chu