Maternal, Infant and Young Child Feeding

Optimal maternal nutrition before and during pregnancy is a very good predictor of the outcome of pregnancies. Mothers who are well nourished are less likely to be nutritionally deficient including being anaemic or deliver low birth weight babies. Adequate nutrition will help to reduce both infant and maternal morbidity and mortality. In The Gambia, the maternal mortality ratio stands at 433/100,000 live births (DHS 2013) while Low Birth Weight is estimated to be 10% of all births (MICS 2018). Infant and under-five mortality on the other hand is 34/1000 and 54/1000 live births, respectively (MICS, 2018). The prevalence of malnutrition, though decreasing is still a challenge with 15.7% of children stunted and 5.8% and 10.6% wasted or underweight, respectively (GMNS, 2018). Maternal malnutrition, poor feeding and caring practices contribute significantly to these unacceptably high rates.

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