Malnutrition in Mali: a major concern for child health.

  • Published 1997 in Newsletter


This article presents summary findings on child health from the 1995-96 Demographic and Health Survey in Mali. Mali had a very high proportion of children that were wasted. Feeding practices and food shortages account for the malnutrition. 23% of children aged under 3 years were wasted, or were too thin for their height. Wasting is a result of nutritional deficits and/or acute illness, especially diarrhea. Wasting occurs among children of all socioeconomic levels. 12% of infants aged under 4 months were exclusively breast-fed. Mali mothers introduce other liquids at very early ages. Early feeding increases a child's exposure to infectious agents, which may lead to diseases such as diarrhea. The World Health Organization recommends that children be breast-fed exclusively for the first 4 months of life and that solid foods be introduced at 6 months. In Mali, almost 40% of infants aged 7-9 months still had not received solid foods. At 12-13 months, 15% of infants were still not receiving solid foods. Child mortality had improved and stood at 238 deaths/1000, a decline of 30% since 1987. Infant mortality had declined to 123 deaths/1000, a decline of 22%. Although child mortality had improved, the number of malnourished children had increased. An estimated 57% of deaths among children was related to malnutrition. Malnutrition-related child mortality was 136 deaths/1000. Fertility decline was small. Fertility was 6.7 children/woman in 1996. High fertility is attributed to early marriage and early childbearing, limited contraceptive use, and short birth intervals. 50% of women aged under 16 years were married or sexually active. 49% of women aged 15-19 years in rural areas had experienced a pregnancy. 5% of women in a union used modern contraception. 26% of births followed short birth intervals.

Cite this paper

@article{1997MalnutritionIM, title={Malnutrition in Mali: a major concern for child health.}, author={}, journal={Newsletter}, year={1997}, volume={9 1}, pages={3-4} }