Gender Gender

malnutrition levels still high – NFNC

LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
THE national Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) says for the past two decades, Zambia has failed to reduce malnutrition levels because of poor diet.
NFNC deputy director Musonda Mofu said during the orientation of nutrition champions that due to poor diet, the disease burden for under-five children in Zambia is high.
“We want to strengthen interventions so that the programme can reach the community. We want people to have balanced enhanced foods that are well-prepared,’ he said.
He said the diet of many Zambians comprises of vegetables; adding that certain nutrients are not found in vegetables.
Mr Mofu said there is need for crop and diet diversification because it is the only way Zambians will be able to have a balanced diet.
He said NFNC wants to strengthen community nutrition groups hence the need for strong partnerships between Government and the private sector.
Mr Mofu said there is need to scale up interventions in the 48 districts that are mostly affected with poor nutrition which has resulted in 40 percent of Zambians being stunted because of poor nutrition.
Stunted children have reduced activity and poor performance at school.
And speaking at the same function, Head of Nutrition Education and Communication, Eustina Besa said food and environment plays a critical role in the 1,000 days of a child’s life because they shape a child’s future.
Mrs Besa said the stunted growth can only be corrected prior to during pregnancy.
‘Pregnant women should in iron and folic acid, micro nutrients powders, while breastfeeding should be and mothers should promote diverse diet for the babies’ growth,’ she said.

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