Rumphi, August 30, 2018: The fight against nutrition in Rumphi District is facing challenges as some parents attribute malnutrition to acts of witchcraft and so take children with the ailment to herbalists for treatment.

Rumphi District Nutritionist Officer, Christopher Chirwa Wednesday said malnutrition in some parts of the district is still high because of misconceptions which border on beliefs of witchcraft beliefs that are attached to causes of malnutrition.

“We have registered progress in the fight against stunting where in 2010 the rate was at 38.5 per cent compared to the current 32.1 per cent, according to a survey which was conducted in 2016.

“Though we have made such an achievement over the years, wasting and underweight cases are still on the increase as malnutrition in the district is associated with witchcraft and parents are reluctant to adhere to nutrition interventions which we advocate to arrest the situation,” he said.

Chirwa also said inadequate sensitization on the effects of malnutrition is another factor hindering efforts to arrest wasting and underweight in the district, hence the need to give out information which can change people’s mindset on nutrition issues for them to appreciate the need for adhering to various malnutrition and stunting interventions at household level.

“We also need to include men and traditional healers as our target groups because they are mostly the bread winners who provide for their families. We need to enhance and re-strategize our approach to community awareness on this issue,” he said.

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