MZIMBA-(MaraviPost)-Communities in Traditional Authority (T.A) M’mbelwa in Mzimba district are singing the song of praise on how nutrition uptake has reduced diseases that come due to malnutrition, thanks to Civil Society Organisation on Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) with its partner Save The Children intervention.
With financial support from SUN Grants Pooled funds, CSONA has been implementing a 20-months project (December, 2019 to June, 2021) in T.A M’mbelwa in Mzimba titled, “Improvement of the health and nutrition status of mothers and under-five children”.
The project is coming to an end June 30, 2021 subject to donors renewal aimed at scaling up best practices on nutrition and help influence or induce much-needed change, solutions, interventions required to rectify the status quo.
During the media tour CSONA organized at T.A M’mbelwa on June 9-10, 2021, revealed communities’ serious uptake of nutrition values including diet on feeding children nutritious local foods, hygiene and among others.
Due to project’ impact, stunting, diarrhea, infants and maturity rate have been reduced over the year the initiative has been running.
Communities are able to have backyard vegetable gardens coupled legumes and cereals cropping to meet nutrition uptake.
Agness Tindi of Group Village Headman (GVH) Kapalachuma Kasaru in the area lauded CSONA and Save The Children’ nutrition best practices that have improved her household.
“We are now able to feed our children with nutritious foods that no cases of diarrhea, stunting and infants deaths. This is due to nutrition training and follow ups which extension workers keep on monitoring us”, lauds Tindi.
Romance Kasaru, a village promoter of GVH Kapalachuma Kasaru chipped, “Women are now able to feed children with nutritious porridge that no malnutrition deceases are recorded. Infants deaths have also been reduced as pregnant mothers are adhering nutrition values skills provided”.
GVH Kapalachuma Kasaru echoed on the same that his subjects are now in the verge of ending malnutrition with an assurance that the trend will go despite the phasing out of the project.
CSONA Program manager for campaign and advocacy Joseph Gausi expresses gratitude on the project impact for the short period it has been running.
Gausi says the project has helped his organisation to advance national goal of reducing stunting which is till high in most districts in Malawi including Mzimba which is at 38%.
Despite the project life span being short, he said the organisation has managed to build nutrition structures in filling up the gap being left out by other partners.
“We have managed to influence pro-activeness on nutrition, diet diversity, change and how are now perceive all nutrition aspects. Adolescence and pregnant mothers are taking nutrition as best model of living than before.
“We want the project to be extended looking at the impact the project has had. We have only reached a few communities as Mzimba is a very big district. With donor funds approval, we are to scale up the project to the entire district for more house holds,” says Gausi.
Frank Mfune, Principal Nutrition and HIV/ AIDS officer for M’mbelwa district council acknowledges CSONA project’s impact on communities.
Mfune however salivates for more efforts on nutrition towards reducing stunting, infants deaths as the district records show high rating.
“The project has assisted in establishing and strengthening nutrition structures in the district and the community of T/A M’mbelwa. The structures in question include DNCC, CSONA district chapter, ANCC, VNCC, CLAN, ACLAN and Care groups.
The project has also helped to provide Nutrition education to households in terms of food production, preservation, Processing, and Utilization. The project has. Also helped to build the capacity of our frontline staff as well as Nutrition Promoters in various areas. The project has also helped to advocate for nutrition prioritization in the district planning and budgeting instruments like the SEP, DDP, and DIP,” delighted Mfune.
CSONA, in collaboration with Save the Children (SCI) is implementing a 20 months project titled “Improving the health and nutrition of Maternal and under-five children.”
The project is being implemented both at National and sub-national level with financial assistance from the
SUN Grants Pooled Funds Window II Cycle I through UNOPS.
At sub-national level, the project is being implemented at district and community level, particularly, in T.A M’mbelwa in Mzimba district.
CSONA is leading the implementation of national and district level implementation while SCI is leading the implementation of community level activities.
Some of the major activities implemented by CSONA and SCI including capacity building of different
stakeholders such as Members of Parliament, CSONA members, DNCC members, Cluster leaders and
promoters to be nutrition advocates; budget analyses and public expenditure tracking to nutrition.