National report on nutrition published

BAKU, 14 April 2015 – A joint report released today by the United Nations Children’s Fund in Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Health shows progress has been made in recent years in most nutrition indicators for children.

The National Nutrition Survey was conducted between February and April, 2013 by UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the State Statistical Committee of Azer­baijan, to assess the nutrition and health status of children, non-pregnant women, and preg­nant women. 3,926 household interviews were suc­cessfully completed as part of the survey. In total 3351 women and 1455 children participated in the survey.

The survey showed positive progress in most nutrition indicators for children in comparison with previous researches. Stunting rate among children aged 0-59 month declined from 25.1% (Demographic Health Survey 2006) to 18% in 2013, wasting from 6.6% (DHS 2011) to 3.1% and underweight from 6.5% (DHS 2011) to 4.9%.  Only 10% of observed children had zinc deficiency and 8% vitamin A deficiency. Anemia prevalence among children aged 0-59 declined from 44.4% (DHS 2011) to 24.2%. 

Along with the achievements the survey indicates areas where efforts are needed to reach better nutritional results for children and women. High prevalence of anemia among pregnant and non-pregnant women as well as children remains an issue of high public concern. 40% of pregnant and 38% of non-pregnant women were found to be anemic during the survey.  Of anemic women, 62.8% were also iron deficient. 35% and 20% of non-pregnant women observed to have folate and Vit.B12 deficiency respectively.

“I would like to commend the Ministry of Health and the Government for efforts to improve the nutrition status of women and children, but at the same time remain hopeful that adequate measures will be taken to eliminate anemia and improve exclusive breast feeding practices,” said UNICEF Representative in Azerbaijan Andro Shilakadze. 

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