Food Hygiene

Persistent child malnutrition in Tanzania: Risks associated with traditional complementary foods (A review

Muhimbula HS and Issa-Zacharia A. Persistent child malnutrition in Tanzania: Risksassociated with traditional complementary foods (A review), African Journal of Food Science Vol. 4(11), pp. 679 – 692, November 2010

Happiness S. Muhimbula and Abdulsudi Issa-Zacharia

Despite numerous nutritional interventions that have taken place in Tanzania, the Country stillexperiences a high rate of child malnutrition. Millions of children suffer from one or more forms ofmalnutrition resulting in stunting, underweight, wasting and anemia. The growth of children oftendeclines with the introduction of complementary foods around the age of 6 months and continues todecline up to 24 months that have greater implications for health during adult-hood. Poor breastfeedingand child feeding practices augmented by very early introduction of nutritionally inadequate andcontaminated complementary foods are major factors contributing to persistent child malnutrition inTanzania. These complementary foods comprise mainly cereal-based porridges with little or novegetables and often lacking animal proteins. The promotion of exclusive breastfeeding during the first6 months and appropriate feeding practices has been the integral parts of the intervention processestaking place in Tanzania. Food safety education is a critical prerequisite in the child health programsand is a cost effective intervention with long term positive impacts. This paper reviews the persistentchild malnutrition in Tanzania and the causative factors to highlight risks associated with use of complimentary.

Key words: Child malnutrition, complementary foods, feeding practices, microbial contamination and energydensity.


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March 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm