In a bid to address issues of nutrition, members of the Civil Society Organizations Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) has stressed the need to have a proactive Nutrition Bill that will address the challenges regarding the problems affecting nutrition status of the people.
The members discussed the bill during its quarterly meeting held at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe last week.
The CSOs want a law that will effectively guarantee the right to adequate food and nutrition.
CSONA campaign officer Joseph Gausi said there is need for enactment of a legislation that effectively guarantees the right to adequate food and nutrition.
He said that during the validation process at the National Nutrition Committee held in February, most stakeholders dealing with nutrition were unhappy with the nutrition substance in the bill.
There was a feeling that the bill seems to be a more food security and safety bill rather than a nutrition bill as intended in the original case.
Gausi said: “The nutrition bill is a step towards realizing the political will to reduce prevalence of malnutrition in the country. This is one of the smartest economic decisions Malawi can make. For every dollar we invest in nutrition, we can expect to get $16 back in increased productivity for the economy. This therefore emphasizes that good nutrition enables children to develop healthy immune systems, reducing future spending on healthcare throughout their lives.”
He said every person should have the right to adequate food and nutrition which includes the right to freedom from hunger and food security.
Gausi said food must be available, adequate and of good quality; and that the quality of the food must be in line with the specific needs of specific categories of persons.
Vulnerable persons should also specifically be provided with guarantees in line with international standards on the right and the provision precisely prohibits discrimination.
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