One in every four adolescents in Bangladesh is still suffering from stunting and the rate is higher in rural areas than urban areas, finds a data review.
The result of the data review, which disclosed at a discussion in the city’s CIRDAP auditorium on Thursday, also finds that for the adolescent aged 15-19, the thinness rate is 21, moderate to severe thinness rate is 5 and obesity rate is 14.
BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health and Shornokishoree Network Foundation jointly organized the discussion with supports from the World Bank and UNICEF.
BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health associate professor Malay K Mridha reviewed the data from Food Security and Nutrition Surveillance Project of the government and from International Food Policy Research Institute.
He said that the national data in between 2012-14 showed that the under-nutrition of adolescents were decreasing slowly.
Malay said all the divisions except Sylhet and Chittagong witnessed improvement in nutrition in between 2012-14.
Maternal education is consistently associated with stunting in the early and late adolescent age group, he said.
That data showed that girls’ height increases until age 14, which was below the healthy norms.
It also found that children of adolescent mothers are prone to give birth stunt children comparing with the adult mothers.
The head size also small of the children given birth by adolescent mothers, it also finds.
Speaking as chief guest, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said that the analysis found Sylhet division suffering more from malnutrition which proved that the people in the region lacked education, knowledge and experience about nutrition.
‘We have to notice the situation with importance,’ he said.
Shornokishoree Network Foundation Nizam Uddin Ahmed said that there were plenty of policies on nutrition in the country, but the national action plans and programmes are limited.
Gerogetown University professor Alayne Adams said that only the policies would not works unless those are implemented and more resources are allocated.
She advocated for coordinated efforts against malnutrition by the government and nongovernment agencies.
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