Infant malnutrition 'an economic and health threat'

A new maternal and newborn health report released by Save the Children has claimed infant malnutrition is an economic threat as well as a global health problem.

The charity noted the issue can result in a two to three per cent loss in national income due to the increased cost of healthcare for starving youngsters who are prone to illness and the drop in productivity among adults who have not been well-enough fed.

Low-cost nutritional interventions among children can see adult earnings rise by 20 per cent, the body stated.

Among the recommendations the organisation made were investing in such programmes, which could include encouraging breastfeeding and providing access to a fortification diet.

Dr Carole Presern, director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health at the World Health Organisation, said it is important the international community's "commitment to improving nutrition of pregnant women and children with a view to reducing mortality and morbidity ... materialises into action and that we see results quickly".

A recent report published on the website of The Lancet claimed the United Nation's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health Every Women, Every Child is driving innovative new ways to improve maternal and newborn care around the world.