By Pauline Kaude
Communities in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Malenga in Ntchisi have hailed Amref Health Africa, for bringing various nutrition related interventions to the area which have gone a long way in improving their health.
Speaking during a cooking demonstration that the organization organized on Thursday, Group Village Headman (GVH), Mteya attributed the reduction in the number of malnourished under five children in the area to the nutrition interventions which Amref is implementing in the area.
“Through Amref, people in this area have now acquired the knowledge and skills on nutrition such that our children no longer get sick quite often,” he said.
The GVH said it was encouraging to note that the communities have been trained on how best they could prepare and eat six food groups in their diets using locally available foods.
According to Mteya, the people would continue practicing what they are learning under the project even when it phases out.
Ntchisi District Council Principal Nutrition and HIV/Aids Officer, Edna Mwangonde commended Amref for the nutrition interventions in the district which has almost a 50 per cent stunting rate among children.
“It is worrisome to note that despite producing a lot of crops, Ntchisi has high stunting levels and this can be attributed to a tendency among most of the communities who sale everything they produce from their gardens,” she said.
Mwangonde observed that prevention of stunting requires a multi sectoral approach and called on the communities to put into practice the knowledge and skills they learn during the cooking demonstrations in their households.
Amref Project Officer for Ntchisi, Virginia Kayoyo said the nutrition interventions are under the Canada- Africa Initiative to Address Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality (CAIA-MNCM) project which is being implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.
She said the project which started in March 2016 and would end in December, 2019 is being funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC).