Wirth JP, Woodruff BA, Mamady D, Beauliere JM, Ayoya M, Rohner F, Teta IN
November 2019 – African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition, and Development
This study investigated the nutrition trends in children <5 years of age, adolescent girls 15-19 years of age, and non-pregnant women 15-49 years of age over the past 15 years in Guinea. Data from nationally-representative DHS and SMART surveys conducted from 1999 to 2015 were used to examine trends in the aforementioned population groups. 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. Among all women 15 and 49 years of age, 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. 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.