Maternal and child undernutrition in developing countries receiving inadequate support is not only unfortunate in terms of growth and development of the country as a whole but also in terms of global upliftment of the human race. It is primarily because of lack of education as well as monetary independence primarily amongst women. However, these reasons are not justifiable as necessary measures should be stringently taken to bring about a positive change for maternal and child survival. There is a major dearth in spreading awareness by any form of media regarding the ill effects of undernutrition.
Undernutrition involves wasting diseases, stunting and deficiencies as a result of malnutrition. A large number of individuals are still faced with insecurity as well as inability to procure safe, nutritious food to meet their dietary requirement. The burden of disease attributable to maternal and child undernutrition is highly focused for three world regions—Africa, South Asia, and Latin America as they include primarily low-income and middle-income countries; only 1% of deaths in children younger than 5 years occur outside these regions. Thus affecting the security and stability and the ability of nations to prosper socially and economically.
Global and regional estimates of fetal growth restriction are commonly associated with low birth weight which affects cognitive development causing severe damage to brain and impairing motor development in turn affecting school performance. Children who are stunted,underweight and wasted have a higher risk of mortality due to infectious diseases. Long term studies have shown adverse effects on mental health as a result of deficiencies resulting in stunted growth among the adolescent population causing depression, anxiety and lower self-esteem. It is necessary that adequate nutrition be provided from pregnancy to 2 years of age. As after the age of 2 years, lack of adequate nutrition will lead to irrevocable changes in development.
Maternal deficiency leads to several adverse maternal and fetal complications during pregnancy, delivery, and post-partum as the intra-uterine environment has a role in affecting an infant’s health in later life. The deficiencies not only pose a threat for a mother’s life and well being but can also result in functional and skeletal abnormalities in an infant. Maternal overweight and obesity has been shown to increase the probability of childhood obesity which may continue through early adulthood. Vitamin D plays a very important role in fetal development in maintaining fetal supply of calcium for bone development, maintaining normal pregnancy and preventing miscarriage.
Maternal and Child Health Courses
James Lind institute (JLI) offers multiple courses aiming for growth and development of child such as Advanced PG Diploma in Global Maternal and Child Health, Professional Diploma in Public Health Management, Masters in Public Health (MPH), Master of Science in Health Management. These self-paced courses are designed by industry experts and highly customized to meet the demands of the public health enterprise.