What is the effect of severe malnutrition on a child’s mental development?

Severe malnutrition results in poor growth and wasting of the brain. These children are lethargic, not interested in their surroundings, irritable and unhappy. Often they are not given the stimulation and love needed for normal mental and behavioural development.

Once they start recovering and smiling, they need to be stimulated and given a lot of loving attention. The hospital ward should provide a happy, stimulating environment with play and physical contact. With good nutrition, loving care and stimulation, many children will recover physically and intellectually.

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