Malnutrition in African Mothers, Infants and Young Children

Report of the Second Inter-African Conference on Nutrition held under the auspices of the Commission for Technical Co-operation in Africa South of the Sahara (C.C.T.A.), 398 pages, illustrated. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1954. Price £ 1.5s

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As indicated by the title, this volume includes summaries of the papers and discussions of the Second Inter-African Conference on Nutrition held in Gambia in 1952. Most of the papers are related to the disease or syndrome usually called kwashiorkor in infants and young children. The scope of the conference is indicated by the titles of the sections on the conference proceedings. These include Clinical Features, Demography, and Nosography; Pathology; Biochemistry; Dietetics; Malnutrition in Mothers and Treatment and Prevention of Malnutrition in Infants and Children; Terminology; and Recommendations. The proceedings thus supply an excellent summary of present knowledge by many of the pioneers in the field and others best qualified to evaluate the evidence.

In view of the numerous papers and topics it is not possible to summarize the contents of the volume. It is apparent that one of the serious questions facing workers in this field is whether or not kwashiorkor is a disease entity or a number of syndromes with some common etiological factors.