TACKLING ACUTE CHILD MALNUTRITION IN SOUTH AFRICA

By  Dr Dorina Onoya  Nozipho Musakwa  Dr Idah Mokhele  Dr. Lise Jamieson  |  | 

Background

South Africa, with a population of approximately 62 million, is considered food secure overall but faces
significant challenges with food insecurity and acute malnutrition, especially among vulnerable
populations. Urbanization and globalization have altered food acquisition methods, emphasizing cashbased transactions. The COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent lockdowns, and economic recession have
exacerbated child hunger and malnutrition. Acute malnutrition, or wasting, remains a major
contributor to child mortality, with children facing increased vulnerability to infections and long-term
developmental deficits. Despite national commitments and existing guidelines, implementation gaps
persist at community and facility levels.

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