Aims and Objectives
Indeed, according to the World Nutrition Report in 2015, in Africa, 220 million men, women and children are not eating enough, 58 million children under five are stunted, 13.9 million are lean and 10.3 million are overweight. In adults over 20 years of age, 8% are obese. This situation entails costs for the countries concerned because malnutrition is associated with an individual's inability to express his intellectual and physical potential, increased morbidity, prolonged hospitalization and high costs of care for patients with disease Related to malnutrition in relation to the costs of managing malnutrition. By way of illustration, according to the WHO, malnutrition is by far the leading cause of infant mortality, with six million children dying of starvation every year. 2.2 million children die per year due to low birth weight and insufficient intrauterine growth, and 1.4 million additional deaths are due to low or non-existent breastfeeding. Nutrient deficiencies, such as lack of vitamin A or zinc, are responsible for one million more child deaths. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in children worldwide. It is estimated that nearly 50% of pre-schoolers are anemic, mostly due to iron deficiency. A malnourished child has a more fragile health and less good academic performance than properly fed children.
For example, WHO has set global targets to achieve by 2025 (see Box 1) that have been endorsed by all ECOWAS member states to improve maternal, Infant and young child and are committed to monitoring progress. It is therefore important to have regular data in order to assess progress towards the targets defined by WHO and possibly to take adequate measures particularly those which contribute to achieving food and nutritional security.
The objective of the nutritional sub-system is to produce data on the nutritional status of populations in West Africa, in particular to be able to assess the nutritional status of vulnerable groups (children under 5, women of reproductive age) To analyze the root causes of food insecurity and to anticipate with measures that could mitigate the recurrent vulnerability experienced in West Africa.
These data, while providing information on the efficiency of policies, strategies and actions undertaken by States, make it possible to identify situations at risk for decision-making and finally to make projections for the years to come
Concepts and Definitions
According to WHO, nutrition is food intake that meets the needs of the body. Good nutrition - that is, a well-balanced diet - and regular exercise are all guarantees of good health.
Poor nutrition can lead to impaired immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, retarded physical and mental development, and decreased productivity
The WHO (World Health Organization) defines malnutrition as "the cellular imbalance between the source of nutrients and energy and the body's requirements for growth, maintenance and specific functions" 1. Malnutrition is found mostly when the body does not receive enough energy or essential nutrients (such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc.) to maintain tissue health and organ function. This state is not limited to visibly malnourished people. Obese or overweight people may also suffer. However, in this article, the term refers specifically to malnourished people because of undernutrition.
Undernutrition is the result of consumption or absorption of essential energy or nutrients that is insufficient in relation to the needs of the body, or of an excretion of these nutrients that is too fast compared to the rate at which they are replaced
UNICEF defines forms of malnutrition as follows:
It is detected when the Weight / Size ratio is evaluated.
Outer sign: "He's too skinny."
Significant prevalence between 0 and 24 months.
Acute malnutrition develops rapidly, in relation to a one-off situation of lack or repeated shortfalls (lean period, severe epidemic, sudden or repeated change in diet, conflict ...)
There are two types of acute malnutrition: moderate acute and severe acute :
- Acute moderate malnutrition
Moderate acute malnutrition is characterized by moderate weight loss.
- Severe acute malnutrition
Severe acute malnutrition is characterized by a very high weight loss. A child whose arm circumference is less than 111 mm (as measured by the brachial bracelet) is likely to be severely acutely malnourished.
Severe acute malnutrition is responsible for most deaths of children under 5 years of age in the world.