By Brian Longwe
Lilongwe-(MaraviPost)- Several reports have revealed that malnutrition is a leading contributor to nearly half of all deaths in under-five children, and has its higher occurrence in Asia and African countries.
For instance, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recent report on nutrition points out that “between 2000 and 2016, the number of stunted under-fives worldwide declined from 198 million to 155 million while at the same time, the figure have increased at an alarming rate in west and central Africa from 22.9 million to 28.1 million.”
UNICEF recent reports disclose that every year, 14,000 newborns die in Malawi, rural areas being the target.
However, there is potential that Malawi could eradicate the problem if local people get massive sensitisation and civic education on the importance of receiving martenal, neonetal and child health services.
Minister of Health, Atupele Muluzi made the sentiments on Monday during the media briefing on an official opening of 2017 Annual Child Health week Campaign at Capital Hill in Lilongwe.
Muluzi explained that the ministry in collaboration with its partners across the world officiate the one week campaign as an initiative of ensuring that people fully understand the significance of following collect procedures in fighting against under-nutrition in the country.
“This is one way, we, as ministry use to ensure that child health is considered a priority. Most infections come as a result of lack of essential food nutrients, we know that local people in rural settings cannot afford to provide all required resources.
“This is the reason through this annual campaigns we urge them to frequently take their children to health centers to get supplements like; Vitamin A and immunisations.” said Muluzi.
In his remarks, UNICEF representative Johannes Wedening assured the public of his organisation committment to support the country in achieving Strategic Sustainable Growth on health.
According to the 2015-2016 demographic and health surveys illustrates that “infant mortality rate is down to 42 per 1000 live births and underfive mortality is down 64 per 1000 live births.
Stunting has reduced from 47% in 2010 to 37% in 2016, and anaemia in underfives has reduced from 55% in 2009 to 28% today.” this clearly indicates that in the next coming four or five years, Malawi will have been improved healthcare.