National report on nutrition published

“Anemia among pregnant women and luck of exclusive breast feeding are significantly contributing to morbidity and mortality of children. The world’s experience has proved that flour fortification with Iron is the most effective and cheapest way to combat iron deficient anemia and I believe Azerbaijan as a rapidly developing economy in the region will soon ensure that all flour is fortified with Iron and other lifesaving microelements to improve health of hundred thousands of women and children.” 

Breastfeeding and com­plementary feeding practices need significant improvement. Only 12% of children under 6 months of age were exclusively breastfed, less than one half of children were still breastfeed­ing at 1 year of age. 54% of children 6-23 months were fed in accordance with minimum dietary diversity, 58% ate with enough frequency for their age and only 22% had a minimally acceptable diet.  Various programmatic and research recommendations were developed based on findings from the survey.  Fortification of wheat flour to improve iron status in the population and prevent future cases of deficiency and nutrition education campaigns for health care providers and parents based on guidelines and instructions developed by WHO and the Ministry of Health and aimed at improving infant and young child feeding were among the recommendations. Some recommendations deriving from the survey have already been reflected and will be addressed through State Programme for 2014-2020 on Improving Mother and Child Health in Azerbaijan. 

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