The MEASURE DHS Nutrition Chart books are a compilation of nutrition-related data on children and women based on DHS surveys conducted in African countries.
Findings from the Madagascar 2003-2004 DHS survey, the third DHS conducted in that country, indicate that almost half of the children are considered stunted. A child’s nutritional status was found to be strongly related to his or her mother’s level of education. Stunting affects 38% of children whose mothers have a secondary education or higher, compared with 49% among those whose mothers have no education. The survey found that 21% of women are considered thin (body mass index of less than 18.5). Anemia occurrence is extremely high in Madagascar as 7 in 10 children age 6-59 months and half the women age 15-49 suffer from some form of anemia.
On the other hand, improvements were found in other areas: infants between 6 and 9 months old were given recommended complementary foods and 78% of children under age 5 have received a vitamin A supplement in the six months preceding the survey, as had 19% of mothers in the two months after the delivery of their baby.