By Tione Andsen:
District Nutrition Coordinating Committee (DNCC) for Dedza has asked the District Council to own nutrition programmes by providing adequate funding.
Principal Nutrition and HIV and AIDS Officer (PNHAO) for Dedza, Lottie Makina made the request Monday at the Boma during the orientation meeting for Council members on Nutrition activities for the district organized by Oxfam.
He said the DNCC has noted a lot of gap in nutrition activities saying the Council need to take up full responsibility in implementing the programmes for the benefit of the communities.
THE PNHAO noted that the District Development Plan has nutrition as a key priority area to the development aspect of the district but receives no funding and appealed to council members to consider allocating financial resources to the sector.
“We believe that the Council should accept that nutrition is developmental issue which needs to be given support financially. Any district cannot development to the fullest if issues of nutrition are not adequately addressed,” Makina added.
He said as a result of inadequate funding to the nutrition sector the stunting levels are at 42.8 percent which higher as compared to 37 percent at national level.
Makina hailed Oxfam in Malawi with funding from GIZ is implementing Popular Mobilization campaign project for ‘Increasing Resource Allocation and Accountability Towards Nutrition Sector in Malawi which aims at encouraging district councils to provide adequate financial resources towards nutrition sector.
The PNHAO observed that despite several interventions by different partners working in nutrition programmes, nutritional indicators are not encouraging.
He believes the Council should invest more in nutrition sector in order to improve the nutritional status of most communities in the district.
Makina added that 80 of 248 primary schools in the district are on school feeding programme hence the need to look for support in order the reduce the current gaps.
Chairperson for Dedza District Council, Isaac Milanzi hailed DNCC for providing an insight of the nutrition status of the district.
He said as the council they need to look at the issues presented to them in order to take action.
Director of Planning and Development (DPD) for Dedza, Mercy Mpakule said issues of nutrition should to be given the much needed support as it hinges on global level.
She said development is not only infrastructure but issues of nutrition forms part of it where it shapes the growth of the brain on any person.
“If we want to have communities that are innovative and able to have mindset change in their thinking, we should be keen to improve the nutritional status of the district by providing more interventions,” Mpakule explained.
The Popular Mobilization project is being implemented in Dedza, Dowa and Salima to the tune to 50 million Euros.