Justification in the Urban Environments

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Urbanization is increasing in both the developed and developing countries. Over three-quarter of the population of the industrialized countries now reside in urban areas due to massive movement from rural to urban areas. Nigeria is not left out of this. The growth experienced by the urban environment has wide health implications. Urban environments also tend to discourage physical activity and promote the consumption of unhealthy calorie dense diets that are high in refined carbohydrates. Reports show that 1 in 3 urban dwellers lives in slums where nutrition, sanitation and water quality are usually very poor. However there is poverty in the urban populations with almost half of urban population living in settlements defined as slums (Liddle Brantley, 2017).

Even though urbanization plays a critical role in fighting poverty and economic growth, however, many urban areas in Sub-Sahara Africa are ill equipped to mitigate the impending risks associated with urban since most population growth experienced lack improved infrastructure. Poverty contributes to many problems globally and it often leads to morbidity and mortality which affects cognitive development and physical growth and diminished work capacity. Poverty and malnutrition have a direct link- poverty is the main and principal cause of malnutrition. 

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The world bank estimate that in 2018, there are about 1.35million poor people in developing countries who live on $1.25 a day/ less. This often affects mothers who lack access to proper nutrients bear malnourished children. These children also face greater challenges in their ability to learn and thrive making them more susceptible to illness and disease. The cycle of poverty continues when their opportunities for healthy development and mental and physical agility are compromised.

Though several studies have been conducted to assess the double burden of malnutrition (DOM) in urban households (Ahmad et al, 2018, Oladoyinbo, 2015, Winichagoon and Margetts, 2017 ), but few studies have attempted to look at the double burden of malnutrition and its linkage with poverty levels in households using the Multidimensional poverty index. This study will expand the body of knowledge on double burden of malnutrition using the multidimensional poverty index to explore the various dimensions of poverty by which urban households could be deprived. The outcomes will help to reveal relationship between DOM with poverty and further show the interconnections among deprivations and estimate the depth or severity of poverty.

Furthermore, studies on poverty have often focused on income approach method of measurement but few have used the new multidimensional poverty index to explore the dimensions of poverty in which households could be deprived apart from income (Sahn and Stifel, 2000, Booysen et al, 2008). This study will look into various dimensions –health, education and standard of living thus, will help to truly understand poverty in households by categorizing them into the different levels- not poor, moderately poor or abject poor as experienced by households in urban areas.

Finally, this study will serve as a veritable resource for further studies. Outputs of this study will further help to popularize the concept of considering multiple deprivations in poverty research and programmes and assist policy makers and resource managers to re-evaluate programmes and formulating appropriate policies and strategies to better understand the linkage of poverty and double burden of malnutrition among under five children/ mothers and then give appropriate response to it.

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