Gender Gender

‘Let’s fight poor nutrition’

DARLINGTON MWENDABAI, Chipata
EASTERN Province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo has called for concerted effort to reduce under nutrition in both under five children and women.
Mr Kasolo said statistics show that under-nutrition among children below the age of five in Zambia is high which results in stunt growth with some also lacking Vitamin A and Iron.
He said 40 percent of under five children are stunted, in the same group, 53 percent of the children experience vitamin A deficiency and 46 percent are affected by iron deficiency.
Mr Kasolo was speaking in a speech read for him by Eastern Province assistance secretary Royd Tembo during the opening of a one-day reflection, orientation and planning workshop in Chipata recently.
“Zambia has for a long time appreciated that malnutrition is a problem of multiple causes which is also influenced by numerous factors such as inadequate food intake, poor sanitation and hygiene,” he said.
Mr Kasolo said another challenge being faced to fight malnutrition is unfavourable health conditions which needs to be addressed by concerted efforts.
He said it was gratifying that the project would help promote nutrition by improving the food supply and nutrition status of women of reproductive age and children under the age of two in Katete and Petauke districts.
Mr Kasolo said according to the recent (2013-2014) Zambia Demographic Health Survey, 10.4 percent of women are undernourished.
He said this is resulting in poor maternal nutrition which is contributing to poor maternal outcomes including low birth weight.
Mr Kasolo said in response to high malnutrition prevalence rates in the country, Government joined the Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative in 2010.
“To that effect, Government prepared a multi-sectoral national Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan and has implemented the first 1,000 most critical days programme (FMCDP) in 14 districts of the seven provinces namely, Central, Luapula, Northern, Muchinga, North Western, Western and Eastern,” he said.
Mr Kasolo said the two-year Food and Nutrition Security enhanced Resilience (FANSER) project is being implemented by Care International and Catholic Relief Services in Katete and Petauke districts.

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