High infant mortality rate is one of the several factors responsible for Sierra Leone’s continued bottom position at the United Nations Human Development Index (UNHDI).
At the ongoing Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) 11th nutrition forum in Sierra Leone, the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr Saccoh Alex Kabbi said that “it is an unquestionable fact that child malnutrition contributes to childhood mortality.”
The health minister disclosed that the risk of death in children less than five years of age increases as underweight becomes severe.
In addition, he averred, “much of the functional damage resulting from malnutrition in early childhood is due to deficiencies in micronutrients such as Vitamin A, Iodine, and Iron. By the age of two years, most of the damage of children’s health, growth and development is done, and the chances of recovery are minimal,” the minister disclosed.
Adequate nutrition, Dr Kabia stated, “is essential for the mental development of children.” noting that it is a fundamental prerequisite for socio-economic development