- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
Children in Kenya are fed the best diets in Africa according to World Health Organization showing a progress in combating malnutrition in the country.
With the minimum acceptable diet at 8.6 per cent, Kenya scored 21.8 per cent over 3.7 per cent the lowest in Guinea.
During the study WHO established that Kenya is the only country in Africa where data on child nutrition was available.
The proportion of children of ages 6-23 months who received a minimum acceptable diet is available for 32 countries for the period between 2010 and 2015.
The study is a summary measure of diet quantity and quality for the child’s age and consumption of at least four food groups per day
Of other countries surveyed, 15 had a percentage of 10 and above with six countries, among them Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, and Liberia, recording percentages below five per cent.
The report also indicated that countries have higher coverage for the frequentness of meals for certain age groups than for the variety of foods taken.
A total of 21 out of the 25 countries for which detailed information was available, met the threshold for the adequate prevalence of feeding among children aged 6-23 months.
Only seven countries met the minimum recommended dietary variety for at least 30 per cent of children in the same age groups.
WHO in collaboration with other partners are exploring possible approaches to obtaining nationally representative data for minimum acceptable diet in all countries.
The same report ranked Kenya amongst countries that recorded the lowest percentages in low birth weight.
Kenya, at 7.6 per cent, was ranked 7th in Africa and the second in East Africa behind Rwanda (6.3 per cent), which was ranked second in Africa.
The number of overweight children in Africa increased by more than 50 per cent this year.
“While overweight rates in children might still below, the proportion and numbers are increasing in all age groups,” Dr. Adelheid Onyango, the WHO Africa’s Adviser for Nutrition, warned.
The report revealed that under-nutrition is still persistent in the region and stunted growth is on the rise.