October 26, 2010
Nutrition in Tanzania
From: Secretary of Health, Tanzania
To: Minister of Finance, Tanzania
Malnutrition is an extremely important issue in Tanzania, causing many of our
population to die prematurely and negatively affecting the security of the country and its
economy. Women and children are the most severely affected by malnutrition.
children under the age of five suffer from stunted growth and 72% are anemic. One in ten
women in Tanzania are undernourished and almost half of women are anemic.
health issues associated with malnutrition are vitamin A deficiency, iron deficiency,
iodine deficiency, anemia, and stunted growth of children.
The most highly affected
women and children are those who live in rural areas, children under the age of 5,
pregnant women, and women of child bearing age.
Some risk factors for this problem
are poverty, inadequate food intake, inadequate infant feeding practices, poor health
conditions, and lack of information about food and nutrition.
These risk factors lead to
poor productivity of women who are significant contributors to our country’s agriculture,
and poor education and productivity of children who will play a major part in the
economic growth of our country in the future.
Implementing iodine fortification
programs, micronutrient supplementation, improved health care for vulnerable women,
pregnant women, and children in rural areas, and extensive education for women about
healthy feeding and breastfeeding practices into existing organization plans and programs
is essential for widespread and effective improvements.
Nature and Magnitude of Problem:
Malnutrition in Tanzania is widespread and extensive such that it is the third worst
affected country in Africa with respect to it. 38% of children are underweight and 3% of
children are wasted, whereas 44% are stunted.
The majority of children in Tanzania are
affected by malnutrition at some point in their childhood. Four out of every ten children
five years and younger are chronically undernourished, two out of ten are underweight,
and an astounding nine out of ten infants are anemic as they reach their first year.