By Malawi News Agency
Karonga District Hospital has reiterated the need for different stakeholders to collaborate in the fight against stunted growth and malnutrition in the district.
Karonga District Nutritionist, Halmiton Gondwe, made the call Friday at the end of a four-day training of District Nutrition Coordinating Committee (DNCC) members on nutrition issues organised by World Relief.
Gondwe said going by malnutrition indicators, stunted growth rate among under-five children in the district is at 28 per cent, above World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation of below 20 per cent.
“We still have malnutrition problem here. If we talk of wasting (a disease that causes someone to become so thin and weak) the district is at two per cent while the problem of underweight is at nine per cent.
“So, you can see that the community here is still having challenges on malnutrition on among the under-five children which will need collaborated effort to deal with,” Gondwe said.
He said malnutrition affects children’s growth and thinking capacity which may also affect participation in the development of their communities and the country at large.
Karonga District Commissioner, Richard Hara, called on the DNCC members to take issues of nutrition in the district seriously, saying only healthy people contribute to the development of any country.
Hara noted that there is need for members of the DNCC and other stakeholders to intensify teaching people in rural areas on how they can prepare nutritious food.
“There are a number of reasons that contribute to lack of good nutrition. Some people have food but they don’t prepare it well while others do not have particular food for the under age.
“Therefore, I call upon stakeholders and DNCC members to teach communities how to prepare nutritious food because by so doing, we will reduce malnutrition prevalence rate in the district,” he said.
According to UNICEF, in Malawi, four per cent of children, especially those below five years suffer from acute malnutrition.
The report further says more than half of Malawian children suffer from chronic malnutrition, resulting in stunting (being too short for one’s age).
These figures, therefore, imply that Malawi is one of the countries with high malnutrition incidences in Eastern and Southern Africa.