WHO Viet Nam
A mother feeding her child
Maternal and child undernutrition are highly prevalent in low-income and middle-income countries, particularly among the poorest wealth quintiles, resulting in substantial increases in maternal and child mortality and overall disease burden (35% of the disease burden for children under 5). During pregnancy, anaemia increases the risk of maternal mortality (contributing to one fifth of maternal deaths) and low birth weight.
The first two years of life offer a window of opportunity to address child malnutrition, as optimal nutrition during this period will reduce morbidity and mortality, decrease the risk of chronic diseases and contribute to better child health, growth and development. Food fortification and micronutrients supplementation can deliver huge nutrition results at low cost.