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Determinants of undernutrition prevalence in children aged 0–59 months in sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2015. A report from the World Bank database

  • Cristian Ricci (a1), Hannah Asare (a1), Janet Carboo (a1), Cornelia Conradie (a1), Robin Claire Dolman (a1) and Martani Lombard (a1)...



To determine undernutrition prevalence in 0–59-month-old children and its determinants during the period 2000–2015 in sub-Saharan Africa.


Ecological study of time series prevalence of undernutrition in sub-Saharan Africa assessed from 2000 to 2015.


Underweight and stunting prevalence from the World Bank database (2000–2015) were analysed. Mixed models were used to estimate prevalence of underweight and stunting. Country-specific undernutrition prevalence variation was estimated and region comparisons were performed. A meta-regression model considering health and socio-economic characteristics at country level was used to explore and estimate the contribution of different undernutrition determinants.


Countries of sub-Saharan Africa.


During 2000–2015, underweight prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa was heterogeneous, ranging between 7 and 40 %. On the other hand, stunting prevalence ranged between 20 and 60 %. In general, higher rates of underweight and stunting were estimated in Niger (40 %) and Burundi (58 %), respectively; while lowest rates of underweight and stunting were estimated in Swaziland (7 %) and Gabon (21 %). About 1 % undernutrition prevalence reduction per year was estimated across sub-Saharan Africa, which was not statistically significant for all countries. Health and socio-economic determinants were identified as main determinants of underweight and stunting prevalence variability in sub-Saharan Africa.


Undernutrition represents a major public health threat in sub-Saharan Africa and its prevalence reduction during the period 2000–2015 was inconsistent. Improving water accessibility and number of medical doctors along with reducing HIV prevalence and poverty could significantly reduce undernutrition prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa


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