High malnutrition levels in Dedza

By Tione Andsen:

Principal Nutrition HIV and AIDS (PNAO) for Dedza, Lottie Makina has disclosed that malnutrition levels in the district are at alarming rate with stunting among under-five children at 42.8 percent.

He told Malawi News Agency (Mana) Monday in Dedza after the launch of Popular Mobilization Campaign for increased resource allocation to Nutrition Sector in the district.

Makina said underweight among under-five children was at 15 percent and wasting was relatively at 3.4 percent.

He said it was disheartening to note that despite the district producing several types’ food crops; most under-five children are still malnourished due to lack resources to promote nutritional issues within the communities.

“Developing partners and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have come up with a number of interventions in order to address issues of high levels of stunting among under-five children. We need to empower communities through various nutrition care groups on the importance of understanding nutritional issues,” the PNAO explained.

Makina added that community based nutrition management, nutrient care support and micronutrients supplementations are some of the key challenges being faced in the district.

Development Advisor for GIZ Food and Nutrition Security Project (FNSP) Officer, Amja Krbanjevic said the launch the project would promote dialogue among stakeholders at national and districts levels on budgetary allocation for nutrition sector.

She called on various nutrition stakeholders in the district to devise ways and means on how to improve resource mobilization initiatives in order to address the nutrition challenges the district was facing.

Acting District Commissioner (DC) for Dedza, George Ngaiyaye said nutrition plays an important role in the development of any country.

He said issues of nutrition needs to be given full support by providing adequate financially resources for the proper implementation of nutrition activities in the district.

“We have a very big challenge before us to ensure that nutrition issues are given a priority in our planning and budgeting. We need to commit a lot resource for the nutrition sector at all levels,” Ngaiyaye added.

Oxfam in Malawi with funding from GIZ Malawi is implementing Popular Mobilization Campaign project for ‘Increasing Resource Allocation and Accountability Towards Nutrition Sector in Malawi.’

Over 50 million Euros have been pumped into the project and is being implemented in Dedza, Dowa and Salima districts.

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