KATHMANDU, Sept 12: The stunting ratio among children in Nepal has declined by 20 percent in the last 14 years.
According to a recent report of Save the Children, Nepal’s national level stunting rate fell from 57.1 percent to 37.4 percent from 2001 to 2014.
Nepal ranks 10th out of 115 countries in national level stunting reduction.
Stunting is 37 percent in the best performing region (eastern) and 50 percent in the worst (mid-western), and 42 percent in rural areas compared to 27 percent in the urban areas, the report reads. “Children in the poorest households are more than twice as likely to be stunted (56 percent) as children in the wealthiest households (26 percent).”
Forty-five percent of deaths of children under five are linked to malnutrition, according to the report.
Malnutrition is closely related to poverty and to membership of socially excluded caste, ethnic or religious groups, the Save the Children report further states.
Children are discriminated against and excluded based on their gender, ethnicity, where they live, disability, income of the family, and whether they have been forced from their homes or are on the move, according to the report.
It further points out that inequality in chronic malnutrition has grown for every group in Nepal.
Social protection, universal health coverage, livelihoods and resilience, education, and laws and policies are needed to address malnutrition inclusively, the report suggests.