• Shela Akbar Ali Hirani


Background: Pakistan is a developing country with the second highest infant and child mortality ratein South Asia. In this region, malnutrition underlies much of the high infant and under five childmorbidity and mortality rates. Although struggle to tackle the issue of malnutrition among youngPakistani children has been going on since many decades, till yet a realistic solution for this growingproblem has not been found. Objective: This paper aims at reviewing literature to analyse thebiological, maternal, socio-cultural, environmental, and politico-economical determinants ofmalnutrition among young children in Pakistan so that need based interventions can be recommendedto prevent and overcome this growing issue. Methods: A systematic search of national, regional, andinternational literature was undertaken from peer-reviewed databases for 1991–2011 includingMEDLINE, CINAHL, and PubMed. The search was augmented by reviewing the literature from WHOand UNICEF websites, books, local newspapers, and reference lists of articles thought to be relevant.Conclusion: Determinants of malnutrition among Pakistani children are multiple and are prevalent atthe level of individual, family, and community. An analysis of biological, maternal, socio-cultural,environmental, and politico-economical factors indicate that most of these factors are interrelated;therefore, to tackle this issue, there is a need to plan composite interventions at the level ofmalnourished children, their families, and the Pakistani community.Keywords: Malnutrition, young children, Pakistan, determinants


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