Mauritanian mothers losing kids to malnutrition

Nouakchott- Mauritania (PANA) -- World Food Programme (WFP) has disclosed that hundreds of Mauritanian mothers lose their babies due to insufficient food during pregnancy, passing on the malnourish state to the newly born.
"Hundreds of women in Mauritania are still losing their babies at birth or a little while after, due to lack of correct feeding during pregnancy, the hunger being transmitted from mother to child," WFP said in a document issued here Friday.
It said the rate of malnutrition in Mauritania was "still high", hovering around 25 percent and particularly affecting poor and vulnerable sections of the population, including women and children.
The malnutrition phenomenon, WFP said, was massive and permanent in the country's south and southeastern regions.
To fight against the scourge, WFP set up Community Feeding Centres that host children from six to 60 months old, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women.
The centres provide supplementary nutrition feeding to 10,000 children and 6,000 Mauritanian women annually under a nutritional support programme to vulnerable mothers and children, the UN agency said.
It allocates 13 percent of the budget devoted to Mauritania to nutrition and health, working in collaboration with the National Education Ministry, national and international NGOs.
Responding to an emergency appeal from the Mauritanian authorities in 2002, WFP provided nearly 17,000 tonnes of cereals that supplied about 250,000 people in a situation of food insecurity.

30 january 2004 13:15:00

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