SA failed to prevent stunted growth in children in last 20 years - report

According to research, 27% of children - just over 1 in 4 - is affected by stunting in South Africa.

A pupil receives a meal at Kgato Primary School in Bloemfontein. Picture: Department of Basic Education/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - South Africa has made no progress in preventing stunted growth in children in the last 20 years.

This was revealed at the launch of the 2020 Child Gauge report by the Children's Institute at the University of Cape Town.

Experts have called on government, the private sector and civil society to urgently address malnutrition which is the main cause of stunting in children.

Statistics showed zero improvement in the prevention of stunted growth since the late 1990s.

According to research, 27% of children - just over 1 in 4 - is affected by stunting in South Africa.

Dr Chantell Witten was one of the researchers that compiled the report.

"What this actually means in context is that an entire generation the children that were in our studies in 1999 are now 22-years-old and that means they are the next generation, they are having children of their own."

The report also revealed that COVID-19 left nearly half of South Africa's mothers and children going hungry for parts of last year.

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