Stunting contributes highly to the global burden of
malnutrition among children. Reportedly 115 million (22.9%) of under-5 children
population in the world are stunted. Dwelling further into geographical
distribution, Asian & African continents accommodates the greatest share of
it (United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, World Health Organization, WHO,
World Bank Group, WBG 2017). According to NFHS survey 2015-16, 38.4% under-five
children are stunted in India. Despite of the modest decline in level of
stunting in state of Maharashtra the burden still stands up to 34.4%, parameter
being 25.5% in Mumbai District.
Stunting is considered to be the result of suboptimal
nutrient intake over a critical window of 0 to 23 months of life.70% of
stunting reportedly occurs during this period (Herry JLet al.2014).It leads to
manifestation of lasting damages during the life span of children. An
inadvertent management of it in early childhood may lead to development of
multiple adverse health events. These events range from high susceptibility to
infections in short run to poor cognitive performance, memory and locomotive
skills in long run.
In developing countries, stunting
is seen associated with high human as well as economic cost .Accumulative
effects of its consequences cost Asian and African countries up to 11 % of
their gross national product, subsequently hindering socioeconomic development
of these nations (Horton S.et al, 2013). The frame work designed by UNICEF to
determine the determinants of malnutrition in children has categorized them
into of three causes: the basic causes, the underlying causes, and the immediate
causes namely (Black et al., 2013; UNICEF, 1998).
instability, poverty & lack of capital etc. are considered as basic causes (Beiersmann
et al., 2013). Household factors & maternal characteristics are supported
as underlying causes in various literatures (Rannan?Eliya et al.,
2013). Furthermore Biological risk factors such as age, etc. are considered as
immediate causes of malnutrition (Chirande et al., 2015).
The determinants of stunting are
found to be interrelated complex & multidimensional ranging from
fundamental factors such as socioeconomic status to specific factors including
illness due to infectious disease (Paudel R et al, 2013).Understanding of these
determinants are therefore very essential for designing and tailoring specific
interventions to combat stunting in any geographic location. Therefore the
present study aims to provide evidence and direction for efforts to reduce
child stunting in the vulnerable segments.