AMERICA/VENEZUELA – Infant malnutrition remains a serious problem

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - In Latin America 12% of children under 5 years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition. Although there has been a decline, from 22% in 1990, the phenomenon is still painful. According to a document recently presented by UNICEF in Bogota, of the 24 Latin American and Caribbean countries, Guatemala is one where there is the highest prevalence of cases with 48% of malnourished children, amounting to 1,052,000. The country occupies the 25th place in a ranking of 81 countries, first place goes to India. In Latin America, Colombia is occupies the 37th position with 595,000 malnourished children under 5; Peru is 38th with 566,000; Venezuela 43rd with 458,000; Bolivia 47th with 333,000; Nicaragua 52nd with 149 thousand and El Salvador 53rd with 121,000; the Dominican Republic is 57th with 103,000; Panama 62th with 66 thousand and Costa Rica 74th with 20,000. In addition, it is estimated that 7.2 million children under five years of age suffer from rickets and 22.5 million suffer from anemia. The most critical time is the one that goes from pregnancy until the age of 2. On average, the rate of malnourished children in the world is 26%, equal to 165 million children. Three quarters of children under 5 with chronic malnutrition in the world live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 18/04/2013)