Although there has been some reduction, malnutrition remains high, with 47% of children under five stunted and 20% severely stunted. The prevalence of diarrhoea and disease outbreaks such as measles have a significant influence on nutritional status, particularly acute malnutrition, and have to be taken into account when interpreting nutrition surveillance results.

Despite the expectation that the MDG target related to nutrition will be reached, high levels of underweight persist. Thirteen per cent of children under five are underweight and 3% are severely underweight (DHS 2010). 

Investments in child survival interventions such as vaccines for various diseases, effective treatment of pneumonia at community level, and effective prevention and treatment of malaria and diarrhoeal diseases have contributed significantly to the remarkable decline in infant and under five mortality rates.

These trends demonstrate that there is a possibility that Malawi can reach the MDG targets for these two indicators. This will be possible if significant investments are made in child survival interventions.