Malnutrition a big problem in Malawi—CSONA

People of Dowa have been urged not to be lured by higher prices to sell all their harvest to vendors to reduce hunger, stunting and malnutrition in the country.

A Malawian grandmother rests on October 14, 2005, close to her malnoureshed grandson in Zomba ©Gianluigi Guercia, AFP

A Malawian grandmother rests  close to her malnoureshed grandson – ©Gianluigi Guercia, AFP

Speaking during a global day of action for Nutrition in Traditional Authority Chakhaza in Dowa, Chief Nutritionist in the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS, Blessings Muwale asked the farmers to safeguard their produce.

“For Malawi to be a stunting and malnutrition free nation, there is need for farmers to keep their food and use it for themselves despite the [higher] market prices that vendors are offering” said Muwale

He observed that Malawi faced an uphill task to end malnutrition and stunting saying only 10 percent of the country’s GDP goes to address malnutrition.

Civil Society Organization Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) National Coordinator Mtisunge Zimpita, said stunting or malnutrition was a big problem in Malawi affecting almost half of the population.

“Previously Malawi stood at over 42% of undernourishment and stunting but thanks to Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) that saw the reduction of stunting and malnutrition from 42% to 37%,” said Zimpita.

The National Coordinator further said a stunted/undernourished child does not reach his/her full level of growth and cannot positively contribute to the nation hence their need for a political will to address the issue.

She called on media to take a leading role in raising awareness on the dangers of hunger, malnutrition and stunting.

Chairperson of Parliamentary committee on Nutrition Deus Gumba said during a tour around the country to appreciate what action was being done on nutrition, the committee discovered that there was a huge gap that needed to be addressed.

Gumba promised to share findings of the tour in parliament to map way forward.

The day was commemorated under theme “End Hunger and Malnutrition for a developing Malawi is everyone’s responsibility.

CSONA is a grouping of different NGOs that work to address nutritional issues in Malawi.

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