10 nutrition improvements can save 900,000 lives: The Lancet
Moniruzzaman Uzzal

The Lancet’s research says can reduce the effects of malnutrition, including child death, significantly

  • Mothers sitting with their children suffering from malnutrition at a health centre  
    Photo- Creative Commons

The Lancet, a leading international medical journal, introduced a set of recommendations called The Lancet Maternal and Child Nutrition Series 2013, at an event in the city Tuesday.

The series recommends ten specific nutrition interventions that The Lancet’s research says can reduce the effects of malnutrition, including child death, significantly.

Experts at the programme said 90% of the burden of malnutrition is borne by 34 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal. If the recommended nutrition interventions are scaled up to 90% of the current population coverage, an estimated 900,000 lives could be saved in these 34 countries, they said.

The event was held at the Sasakawa Auditorium of ICCDDR’B. The series was launched three weeks ago in London.

According to the series, the ten interventions which can improve maternal and child nutrition are periconceptual folic acid supplementation, maternal balanced energy protein supplementation, maternal calcium supplementation, multiple micronutrient supplementation in pregnancy, promotion of breastfeeding, appropriate complementary feeding, vitamin A administration and preventive zinc supplementation in children age 6-59 months, management of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and management of moderate acute malnutrition.

Professor Robert E Black, of the Department of International Health at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the lead author of the research, presented a paper at the event.

Tahmeed Ahmed, director of the Center for Nutrition and Food Security at the ICDDR, B, was also a member of the research team.

Speaking as the chief guest, Health Minister AFM Ruhal Hoque urged the national and international communities to come forward to find a proper way to reduce maternal and child death and drive out the malnutrition problem in Bangladesh.

“Our government takes the matter seriously. It has been included in the five years plan of the Health Population Nutrition Sectorial Development Programme (HPNSDP),” he said.

“We are on the right track to face malnutrition and reduce maternal and child mortality rate,” the minister said.

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