By Tione Andsen:
Salima District Council has bemoaned inadequate monitoring and review of nutrition programmes at community level.
Nutrition Coordinator for Salima District Council, Kingsley Chizeze disclosed this Tuesday during the launch of Popular Mobilization Campaign on “Increased Resource Allocation and Accountability Towards Nutrition Sector in Malawi.”
He said the challenge has comes due to inadequate funding on nutrition programmes for key sectors like health, agriculture, education and the District Council.
Chizeze said despite the fact that stunting levels in Salima are at 34.5 percent which is below national rate of 37 percent; the district still continues to register cases of acute malnutrition among under-five children.
“The Council has structures in place in order to carry out Nutrition programmes in various areas. Our biggest challenge remains resources to carry out awareness campaigns,” he added.
The Coordinator said the campaign would help stakeholders in the district to work to together to mobilize resources and use them effectively.
Oxfam Livelihoods Resilience Manager, Steve Kuliyazi said nutrition plays a fundamental role in improving economic progress and development of the country.
He said improving nutrition would contribute towards poverty reduction, improved health and a decrease in mortality rates especially among the most vulnerable population such a as women and children.
“We are confident that the launch of the campaign will generate further interest and lesson to inform the national budget processes in the country to increase the allocation and accountability of Nutrition resources at national and district levels,” Kuliyazi pointed out.
He thanked GIZ Germany for providing financial assistance of over 50 Euros for the implementation of the one year project in Salima, Dedza and Dowa districts.
Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS, (DNHA) Nutrition Officer, Pamela Jumbe added that investment and adequate funding in nutrition programmes remain central to helping communities to fight malnutrition.
She said the initiative has been lunched at the time the country was still having high number of malnutrition among under-five children.
Salima GIZ Technical Advisor on Food and Nutrition Security Project, Barbara Matenga called upon nutrition stakeholders in the district to mobilize more nutrition resources for the benefit of children in the district.
She said there was need for more efforts to achieve the noble task and make use of the available resources in order to fight malnutrition issues.
Acting District Commissioner (DC) for Salima, Dr Jones Chise described the launch as a milestone in the fight against malnutrition in the district.
He said the district has partners working in the areas of Nutrition and HIV and AIDS and the campaign would help to accelerate the efforts.
Chairperson for Salima District Council, Esther Phiri thanked Oxfam and GIZ Germany for providing IEC material to be used in awareness meeting in communities in the district.
She hoped that the campaign would help to change communities mind set in regard to nutritional issues.
Salima District Council was provided with Nutrition Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials to be used during campaigns.