A Brief History of Child Nutrition Situation and Programme Interventions in Bangladesh

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47648/zhswmcj.2024.v0601.06

Nawshad Ahmed1


Since the independence in 1971, Bangladesh has madesteady progress in improving nutrition status of childrenin the country. As per the first nutrition survey afterindependence, “Nutrition Survey of Rural Bangladesh1975-76” carried out by the Institute of Nutrition and FoodScience (INFS), Dhaka University, revealed that 31% of12-23 months children and 28% of 24-35 months oldchildren were acutely malnourished; and 74% of children0-59 months old were stunted (moderate and severe). Nineout of ten families (i.e., 89%) were deficient in vitaminintake.

The first nutrition survey in East Pakistan which is nowBangladesh, was conducted in 1962-64 but did not providemuch child-related data but found that over two-thirds ofthe daily diet consisted of rice, which was supplementedby curries, primarily of vegetables or fish, and Lentil.Milk and meat are consumed in small amounts, and fruitintake was only seasonal. Intake of cooking fats and oilswas scanty. The survey revealed that 46% of householdshad inadequate calorie intake. Carbohydrates constitutedabout 83% of the total calorie intake. Moreover, 85% ofthe people did not meet their recommended level of dailyprotein intake where almost 70% of protein was fromcereal proteins (plant sources) and only 14% was fromanimal sources. Eighty-four percent of all householdsconsumed less than the acceptable intake value of VitaminA (3,060 IU per person per day) and 40% of the populationhad deficient or low plasma concentration of Vitamin Aand carotene. As a result, night blindness was commonamong children and about 30,000 children became blindeach year. Also, about 25 percent of deaths under five wereattributable to Vitamin A deficiency.

Keywords: Child Nutrition Programme Situation Health and Demographic Survey.

  1. Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Improving Urban Governance and Infrastructure Programme

    Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Dhaka.

Volume 6, Number 1, January 2024
Page: 31-35