Chronic Malnutrition in North West Syria:
Health facility nutrition surveillance data indicates that Chronic Malnutrition (stunting) rate among children under 5 years in North West Syria is currently at 34 percent showing a consistent increase throughout 2020 where levels of stunting increased by 5 percent between January and October 2020. The risk of death because of stunting is increased nearly two folds.
Children that are both stunted and wasted have a 12-fold increased mortality risk compared to the otherwise healthy children. In NWS it is estimated that at least one child out of each three children are at risk of losing their future because of chronic malnutrition.
Chronic Malnutrition once it occurs, becomes irreversible and a stunted child will less likely reach his/her full potential because of chronic malnutrition (stunting).
Maternal Malnutrition in North West Syria:
Maternal Malnutrition continues to be a major public health problem in NWS especially in areas affected by displacements where 20 - 37 per cent of mothers are malnourished and at risk of suffering the various consequences of malnutrition. This includes reduced immunity and mothers exposed to COVID-19 infections , which will render these mothers not being fully capable of properly feeding and caring for their infants and this could partially explain the 63 per cent of mothers in NWS who are not appropriately breastfeeding their children in NWS. It is well documented that maternal malnutrition is impacting both child and mother’s health and nutrition status. COVID-19 outbreak also poses very serious risk to the nutrition status of vulnerable population such as children and mothers as well as poor mothers in urban areas and internally displaced children and mothers. In NWS, 65 percent of women at child bearing age have access to antenatal care services, while 11 percent of mothers completed their 4th ANC vists.
Women at child bearing age accessing PNC remains low at 4.6 percent while the over all 77 percent WCBA accessing Basic Emergency Maternal and neonatal care (BEMONC). Without a comprehensive maternal health and nutrition approach , maternal anemia and malnutrition can not be rolled back in North West Syria.