Cost-Benefit Analysis of Interventions to Reduce the Incidence of Stunting in Malawi - Technical Report

There remains a high level of stunting among children in Malawi – 37% in 2016, although this has declined from 47% in 2010. Despite the improvements, this puts Malawi at the top end of the average range for Africa. The primary cause of stunting is chronic undernutrition and addressing this is a challenge. Many low-income households are food insecure, but this is compounded by poor infant feeding practices. Based on this study, we recommend that the key intervention to consider is complementary feeding promotion, which would make a significant contribution to reducing the rate of stunting in a cost-effective way. However, if resources are available, expanding promotion of breastfeeding from its current level, although costing considerably more, would avert around 9% of avoidable childhood deaths – more than 2,000 in total – over a five-year period cost-effectively.