Stop nutritional stunting among children under two years

Keep all children on track by Grade 4

 

We have yet to find a better predictor of an adult’s economic potential than their height at two years of age. And yet, even though we know this, a fifth to a quarter of children in South Africa are stunted[1]Children’s Institute (University of Cape Town), Department of Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation of the Republic of South Africa, and Ilifa Labantwana (2016).  South African Early Childhood Review, 2016.  (i.e. have a low height to age ratio). Stunting is associated with poorer performance at school and less economic productivity as adults.[2]Martorell R, Richter L, Sachdev H, for the Maternal & Child Undernutrition Study Group. Maternal and child under-nutrition: consequences for adult health and human capital. Lancet, 2008: 371(9609): 340-57

Zero-stunting would mean that one million more young children are able to thrive each year – and increase our GDP by at least 2%.

Maternal undernutrition (as represented by low birth weight babies) accounts for about 20% of stunting.[3]Black RE, Victora CG, Walker SP, Bhutta ZA, Christian P, de Onis M, et al.; the Maternal and Child Nutrition Study Group. Maternal and child undernutrition and overweight in low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet 2013;371:243–60. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736 With a low-birth-weight rate of 13% and high levels of stunting,[4]Children’s Institute (University of Cape Town), Department of Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation of the Republic of South Africa, and Ilifa Labantwana (2016).  South African Early Childhood Review, 2016. early malnutrition leads to at least a 1% loss of GDP to South Africa. That’s a minimum of R40-billion wasted every year.

The ideal is to prevent nutritional stunting in the first place. However, catch-up growth is also important within the first two years of life. If stunted children receive extra food and intellectual stimulation during these early years, their life chances are significantly improved.

High levels of stunting in a middle-income country like South Africa needs to shift from being a major embarrassment to a highly achievable campaign that results in zero stunting.

References   [ + ]

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5

Our goal is to reduce the prevalence of stunting among 0-5 year olds from 20% to 16%.

What we will be working on…

From 2017-2021, we will drive a national zero-stunting campaign by mobilising a joint response from State, civil society and business.

Click here to read how we plan to do it.

 

WHAT HOW
Mobilise a national response of State, civil society and business to halve the prevalence of stunting of 0-5 year olds within a decade.

Drive a national zero-stunting campaign:

  • Frame the opportunity of a country in which no child is stunted.
  • Drive a national media and advocacy campaign related to key strategies for zero-stunting.
  • Mobilise a national network of leaders across society.
  • Engage with key Government departments to improve the service response to children crossing height centiles and to strengthen a home-package of nutrition support.
  • Crossing height centiles and to strengthen a home-package of nutrition support.
  • Use nodes of good practice to support and train health workers.

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Opportunity 1
Drive public innovation by reigniting civil society
Opportunity 2
Release the systemic chokes on innovation that are perpetuated by exclusion
Opportunity 3
Create unlikely networks to stimulate positive change
Opportunity 4
Give every child the benefit of early childhood development
Opportunity 5
Stop nutritional stunting among children under two years
Opportunity 6
Make sure every child is ready to read by the time they go to school
Opportunity 7
Build simple, loving connections for every child
Opportunity 8
Place failing schools ‘under new management’ so that children can succeed
Opportunity 9
Create new connections to opportunity for young people
Opportunity 10
Support young people to keep their grip on opportunity
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Opportunity 4
Opportunity 5
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Opportunity 9
Opportunity 10