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Nutrition Trends In The Past Fifteen Years In Guinea: Secondary Analysis Of Cross-Sectional Data On Children, Adolescent Girls And Women

Malnutrition is a public health problem among Guinean children and women. Despite available nutrition survey data, there have been few published studies examining trends in nutrition indicators in Guinea. The objective of this research is to investigate nutrition trends in children <5 years of age, adolescent girls 15-19 years of age, and non-pregnant women 15-49 years of age. To accomplish this, data from five nationally-representative population-based surveys was examined. These surveys include Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted in 1999, 2005, and 2012, and Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) surveys conducted in 2011 and 2015. The analysis found that prevalence of stunting in children decreased consistently from 39% in 2005 to 25% in 2015, with the most rapid decline between 2012 and 2015 – the period when the Ebola outbreak occurred. Despite this decline, the prevalence of anemia remained elevated between 2005 and 2012, with more than 70% of children found anemic in both surveys. Among adolescent girls, the national prevalence of underweight increased from 12% in 1999 to 19% in 2012, with the largest increase among girls with no education and those residing in rural areas and households in the lowest wealth quintile. Though anemia declined in adolescent girls between 2005 and 2012, the prevalence in 2012 was above 40%, indicating a severe public health problem. Among all women, between the age of 15 and 49 years, there was a steady increase in the combined prevalence of overweight and obesity, from 12% in 1999 to 19% in 2012. Increases in prevalence were pronounced in urban areas and among women with no education, >30 years of age, and among women residing in wealthy households. Regarding anemia, the proportion of anemic women declined slightly from 2005 to 2012. However, the prevalence in women in both surveys was above 40% and indicated a severe public health problem. This trend analysis suggests that if Guinea’s stunting reduction trends are maintained for the next decade, it can likely meet international stunting targets. In women, efforts to reduce underweight should be targeted at adolescent girls and research is needed to identify the determinants of overweight and obesity in Guinean women.