There is a need for parents and caregivers to recognise the changes in the growth patterns of children since they are an important indicator of overall health and well-being, Deputy Health Minister, Dr Lee Boon Chye, said today.
He said they will need to work with healthcare professionals to ensure children affected by growth disorders are given the best possible health outcomes.
“Poor growth in children is highly prevalent in Malaysia. The prevalence of stunting in children under age five is 20.7 per cent according to the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2016.
“This figure is significantly higher than the overall 6.4 per cent prevalence rate (2017) in upper middle-income countries, which Malaysia is,” he said when launching the Novo Nordisk Growth Journey mobile application today.
The app allows parents to track their child’s growth patterns — height and physical development — via their mobile phone with the data collected able to be shared with their child’s paediatrician for further analysis.
According to a World Bank 2019 report, Malaysia’s stunting rate is higher than some lower-middle and low-income countries like Ghana and Senegal, said Dr Lee.
“Poor growth can adversely affect the health, education and productivity outcomes of children. It has a potentially serious social and economic cost for the overall development of the country,” he said.
He said early detection of height deviations and early diagnosis of growth-related disorders can prevent and address issues in children more effectively. — Bernama
Source: MalayMail, 27 Nov 2019.