By Tione Andsen:
Cases of malnutrition and stunting among under-five children have been drastically reduced due nutrition interventions being implemented in Chalanda Village in Dowa.
Senior Group Village Headman (SGVH), Njolomole Saturday told Oxfam Nutrition Media team which visited the Village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Nkukula B to appreciate the nutrition interventions being implemented by World Relief supported by GIZ Germany.
He recalled that before World Relief and Story Workshop came to the area, cases of malnutrition were very high and Chankhungu Health Centre was being overwhelmed.
SGVH said cases of malnutrition and stunting have been contained and you rarely come across them because communities are appreciating the interventions.
“A lot of under-five children were being referred to the health to receive supplementary foods like Chiponde and Likuni Phala in order address the issues of malnutrition and stunting among them,” Njolomole said.
He said the intervention have enlightened communities to utilized locally available foods to supplement their six group of food to enhance their nutritional statuses.
SGVH said the pass on initiative that was being implemented in the area has helped houses to raise chicken and rabbits one way of sourcing proteins from the livestock’s.
“The pass on initiative which started from my area was extended to other group areas like Chipeni, Kainja, Chigwere, Kavala and Chidothi. We received the livestock’s twice; the first slot 100 households were targeted. The last slot 80 households were provided for,” he explained.
Njolomole appealed to government to provide more financial resources towards nutrition sector in order to reduce cases of malnutrition and stunting.
“We have now realized that development will not take place if nutrition sector is not well supported financially. We were spending a lot of time in health centre instead of implemented out development plans. Nutrition and development work together,” he noted.
Nutrition Promoter of Chalanda Village, Elitina Dziwitsani said the communities have responded favourably to issues of nutrition and hygiene as a result few cases are being reported illnesses are being reported.
She said the two issues work together and things have changed for the better.
“We are pleased that men are keen in the issues of nutrition and households are adhering to the utilization of nutrition and hygiene standards. Households now have pit latrines, toilets and utensil stands for their daily use,” Dziwitsani added.
Nutrition and HIV Officer for Dowa District Council, Noel Chikumbu said there was need to scale of nutrition activities in the district.
He said it was pleasing that various stakeholders are working closely with the council in promotion of nutritional activities.
“We are encouraging households to have back yard gardens for them to plant vegetable as a means of attaining six groups of foods by using the locally available resources,” Chikumbu added.
Oxfam Nutrition and Livelihoods Resilience Officer, Lorrette Gumbo said Dowa District is one of the three district implementation of popular mobilization campaign on “increasing resources allocation and accountability towards nutrition sector funded by GIZ Germany.
She said the Council was provided with Information Education Communication (IEC) material in order to sensitize communities on the importance of demanding increased budgetary allocations to the nutrition sector by the council and parliament.
“We need the voice of the voiles to be heard regarding nutrition sector. Policy and decision makers need to hear what needs to be to the nutrition sector in order to deal with issues of stunting and malnutrition,” Gumbo added.