Journal article (OA) / Impact of the Kerala Flood on Childhood Undernutrition

Muttarak, Raya, and Anna Dimitrova. ‘Climate Change and Seasonal Floods: Potential Long-Term Nutritional Consequences for Children in Kerala, India’. BMJ Global Health 4, no. 2 (March 2019): e001215.

Summary (edited): In the aftermath of the worst flooding Kerala has experienced in nearly a century, we highlight the urgency of considering the long-term health consequences of floods, especially for young children. Based on the recent Demographic and Health Survey data for India in 2015–2016, we provide evidence showing that abnormally wet conditions increased the likelihood of undernutrition for children aged under 5, as measured by stunting and wasting.

Experiencing floods during infancy and being a girl with an illiterate mother makes a child particularly vulnerable to being stunted, while living in rural area increases the risk of being wasted due to floods. We put forward that nutritional and water and sanitation interventions at the critical period of flood exposure can reverse the course of undernutrition, which, in turn, can reduce the cost of poor human development in the long run.

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Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

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