Government says good nutrition is an integral element to human growth which is an important driver to social and economic growth of a country.
Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi said this on Monday in Lilongwe during a press briefing ahead of the launch of national multi-sectoral nutrition policy of 2018-2022.
“Adequate nutrition is critical for physical and cognitive development which then determines an individual’s intellectual performance and professional achievement and overall work productivity,” Muluzi said.
A recent report by Department of Nutrition titled ‘Cost of Hunger’ states that Malawi is losing about 10 percent of its Gross Domestic Product because of the toll undernutrition is having on sectors such as health and education.
Muluzi said that in response to such startling loss in monetary terms, the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS has reviewed the national nutrition policy and strategic plan in line with other national and global frameworks responding to emerging trends and issues of undernutrition.
The new policy is aligned to the current National Economic Development Strategy, World Health Assembly targets, Sustainable Development Goals, and other new global declarations, according to health minister.
The policy is expected to promote evidence-based programming for scaling up high impact interventions.
“It will provide a framework for guiding the implementation of our national nutrition response in addressing existing and emerging national and global issues.” Muluzi said.
Chief of Nutrition at Unicef Sangita Duggal said Malawi is making great strides in fighting undernutrition and the new policy will further help the country to align its interventions to international standards of nutrition policies and strategies.
She said as active partners in reducing stunting, they are trying to give priority to high impact nutrition intervention.
“The new policy will be operationalised through implementation of the National Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategic Plan 2018–2022. Supportive operational strategies and guidelines have also been developed to further translate aspiration into tangible actions,” Duggal said.
The launch of the Policy will be held tomorrow, 20th June, 2018, at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe. First Lady Gertrude Mutharika will preside over the launching ceremony.
During the launch, the First Lady will also open the Food and Nutrition research dissemination conference to be held under the theme “Nutrition for National Development: Leveraging Investments for Effective Nutrition Response.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :