2.3 million Sri Lankans undernourished in 2017

2.3 million Sri Lankans undernourished in 2017

Written by Staff Writer

08 Oct, 2018 | 12:33 am

Colombo (News1st): The Ceylon Today Newspaper quoting a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says there were 2.3 million undernourished people in Sri Lanka, last year (2017). The report says the value has gone down from a figure of 3.6 million in 2006.

However, the number of children under five years of age affected by stunting last year was 300,000; unchanged from the figure recorded in 2012 as well, the FAO said. The newspaper report also noted that the number of women of reproductive age, those between the 15-49 years, affected by anaemia had increased to 1.7 million in 2016, from a lower figure of 1.6 million in 2012. In related developments, the number of infants up to five months who were breastfed, remained unchanged at 300,000 last year, vis-à-vis the corresponding figure for 2012, the report said.

Speaking to News1st Director of the Nutrition Co-ordination Division of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Rasanjali Hettiarachchi said the undernourished number of children under the age of five years stands unchanged for the past ten years.

She added that the short-term undernourishment stands at 15.4%, short-term extreme undernourishment stands at 2% and the rest of the 13% is medium and minor malnutrition. Dr Hettiarachchi noted that when they carried out a survey last year 33% of the pregnant mothers were suffering from anaemia, which is caused by the lack of iron as well as due to thalassemia.

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