Malnutrition rises in pregnant women in 12 at-risk countries

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A new United Nations report says acute malnutrition among pregnant and breastfeeding mothers has increased by 25% in the past two years in 12 countries hard hit by rising food prices fueled by the fighting in Ukraine. Surveys in 11 countries in Africa and two in the Middle East that are worst affected by the food crisis were used in the UNICEF report, released Tuesday, a day before International Women’s Day. Poor nutrition in pregnant and breastfeeding women can lead to weak immunity and complications during pregnancy and birth. Some countries in sub-Saharan Africa have in previous studies recorded high infant mortality rates due to various complications.