Child malnutrition

Chronic stunting throughout PNG

This question may seem funny but for PNG, where stunting is chronic throughout the country, it is an important one to really consider.

The root cause of this condition is malnutrition.

Malnutrition occurs when the body does not get enough nutrients. Causes include a poor diet or digestive conditions, among others.

Symptoms are fatigue, dizziness and weight loss. Untreated malnutrition can cause physical or mental disability.

Can a new sweet potato help tackle child malnutrition?

It may spend less time in news headlines than Ebola or the Zika virus, but Vitamin A deficiency is a much bigger public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa and far deadlier.

Estimates say that it affects as many as 43 million children across the continent.

Children affected by the condition are more likely to go blind, have their growth stunted, contract diseases and die earlier.

But now scientists think they may have found an ally in the battle against malnutrition, in the form of that popular African staple, the sweet potato.