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Stunted children, individually, may appear to be proportioned and not unhealthy.But comparison with a healthy child of the same age is stark.His diet consists mostly of rice and cassava, a root vegetable.
This disease — usually spread by tick bites or contact with infected livestock — can cause muscle pains, headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding.
And panic is spreading after the sudden death of a girl in the Nakaseke District of Uganda.
She is also teaching Sitraka how to go to the toilet properly, so he can go back to the classroom.
But even if he goes back, he will not go far, according to Virginie Razanatsoa, the Unicef nutrition officer who has seen Sitraka grow.
Her income is just 1,500 Ariary a day, about 30 pence, and well below the World Bank’s poverty threshold of $1.90 a day (£1.45). Any child born at less than three kilos is considered underweight.
In addition to a low birth weight being a significant contributor to child mortality, if stunting is not properly dealt with before the child is two years old, it is irreversible.
These foods fill the belly, but don’t provide a proper balanced diet.
If they are the only foods consumed by mother or child in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, including prenatally, it will lead to a host of physical and mental development problems.
Its rate of chronic malnutrition is the fifth worst in the world, exceeded only by Papua New Guinea, Eritrea, Burundi and Timor-Leste.
Worldwide, stunting affects an estimated 161 million children, representing a “staggering loss of human and economic potential,” according to Nutrition for Growth, a multi-country task force on From the village of Ambohimidasy, an hour’s drive from the capital, Antananarivo, Sitraka’s mother, Mariette, was constantly working hard throughout her pregnancy.