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Maternal and Child Undernutrition

This collection of articles, published by The Lancet, describes the burden of maternal and child undernutrition in the developing world and highlights proven effective interventions to reduce stunting and micronutrient deficiencies.

Undernutrition is entirely preventable yet causes more than 3.5 million child deaths. It produces stunting, wasting and intrauterine growth restriction among other problems and is particularly prevalent in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and western Pacific.

The window of opportunity for tackling undernutrition is short: from pregnancy to two years of age. After the age of two, the damage on health and brain development caused by undernutrition is irreversible.

But, as the collection shows, there are plenty of interventions that have been proved to improve child nutrition. The most effective include breastfeeding counselling, vitamin A supplementation and zinc fortification.

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