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Zambia nutrition status worries Vice-President

ALVIN CHIINGA, Lusaka
VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina has said Zambia’s nutrition status is still in dire straits hence the need for stakeholders to work with Government to improve the situation.
Mrs Wina said according to the 2013/14 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey data, 40 percent of children under the age of five are stunted.
She said these statistics are worrying because though there is a reduction from the 2007 figure of 46 percent, the latest figure is still high.
“Zambia’s nutrition status is by almost all measures still in a dire strait. We can argue about differences in methodologies, but the fact remains the same that Zambia’s nutrition is worrying,” she said.
Mrs Wina was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when she opened a policy dialogue on food security and nutrition situation in Zambia, and also launched the 2015 Global Nutrition Report.
She said stunting is worse in rural areas than it is in urban areas of Zambia.
Mrs Wina said Government’s aim is to reduce the percentage figure of children with stunted growth to 23 percent by the year 2023.
She said that Government has made considerable strides in improving nutrition and this includes developing the first nutrition workforce plan to help quantify human resource gaps in the sector.
The Vice-President said other strides include increasing the overall allocation to the health sector and instructing all key line ministries responsible for implementing nutrition-related programmes to budget for nutrition.
Government has also established a Cabinet committee on health.
And Minister of Agriculture Given Lubinda said it is saddening that despite the world being in a position to provide food to everyone, some people still do not have enough.
Mr Lubinda said about 1.8 billion people around the globe are malnourished; 800 million are under-nourished while one billion are obese.

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