MAPUTO – Mozambique’s health authorities have expressed concern that some 37 percent of children in the country are suffering from chronic malnutrition.
This troubling rise was compounded by a lack of access to healthcare and limited educational opportunities.
The BBC reported that this was posing serious challenges to the overall development of Mozambique’s youth.
“These are children whose first five years of life are marked by hunger and, often, associated with illness, they are the same ones whose minds are not stimulated, lack of appropriate interaction and have fewer opportunities to perform well at school,” explained Humberto Rodrigues, representative of the National Directorate of Public Health.
In response, civil society groups are calling for the implementation of a National Early Childhood Policy.
Advocates argue that such a policy could help address the developmental obstacles faced.
“If we had a law, we would have all the guidelines on how we could have a programme, financing, a communication system and how to involve parents and guardians in order to provide children with better security,” explained Gertrudes Noronha, representative of the Early Childhood Development Network.
The Ministry of Health, Gender, Children and Social Action and partners met in the capital, Maputo, on Thursday to seek answers to early childhood development problems, which is the period from birth to eight years of age.
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