Uganda's children are at risk. Many of infants die before reaching their first
birthday, mostly due to preventable infectious diseases. And those who survive beyond their first year of life are afflicted with
malnutrition and disease, and perform poorly in school. For a
country endowed with fertile land and stable food supply, Uganda
has an unusually high rate of malnutrition. About 25t of its
preschool children are underweight for their age and 41t are
stunted - or are chronically malnourished. These rates are higher
than most African countries.
Funded by the Government of Uganda/World Bank from 1999 – 2005, the objectives of this study were; to contribute to poverty alleviation and human capital development by implementing development interventions targeted to the most vulnerable segments of the population - namely, young children and mothers. The second objective was to improve the health, nutritional and cognitive status of preschool children in Uganda.
After 5 years the project led to (a) reduced prevalence of underweight preschool children by half of the 1995 levels in the project districts; (b) reduced prevalence of stunting at entry in primary schools by one-third of the 1995 level in the project districts; (c) increased primary school enrollment by 20t in the project districts; (d) improved psycho-social and cognitive development; and (e) formation of at least 5,000 women's income and savings groups to support child development.