25 August 2017

Malawi: Council Says Male Involvement Crucial to Fighting Stunting

Chiradzulu — Male involvement in the promotion of consumption of nutritious foods at both community and household level is said to be crucial in the fight against stunting among children in the country.

Director of Planning and Development (DPD) for Blantyre, Francis Matewere made the remarks on Thursday during the opening of a three-day training workshop for District Nutrition Coordinating Committee (DNCC) members in Chiradzulu.

"If men were fully involved in the fight against stunting at household level, the problem of stunting among children in the country would have been completely eradicated. However, women alone are left to deal with the issue," lamented Matewere.

Matewere dismissed misconceptions that taking care of children is the sole responsibility of women, saying the notion negatively affects development of the country especially on child growth.

"Men and women should work together to monitor development and growth of children in their families by giving them food that contains the necessary quantity of nutrients. A child that consumes all the food nutrients grows health, do not suffer from stunting and performs well intellectually," Matewere said.

The DPD has since urged stakeholders in the district to encourage men to be involved in various nutrition activities to promote the scaling up nutrition global movement.

Matewere described the workshop as crucial considering that DNCC members would be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge for effective eradication of nutritional challenges faced by the district.

"The training has come at the right time when government is promoting issues of nutrition. Let me take this opportunity to thank Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (FISD) for organizing the training which will go a long way in filling the existing knowledge gaps," he said.

Focal Person for DNCC in Blantyre, Lester Kacheche said the workshop is an eye opener to the committee because the knowledge gained will help them understand better Scaling - Up Nutrition (SUN) activities in the district.

"The committee at district and area levels will be able to monitor and assess nutrition activities being implemented by different partners in the district using the skills acquired during the training," said Kacheche.

SUN is a national strategy by the Malawi government for preventing stunting among children in the country. About 25 DNCC members participated in the training.

implementing nutrition interventions in the district through Support for Nutrition Improvement Component and SUN respectively.

At least, 37 percent of children in Malawi are stunted while figures for those underweight and wasting stand at 12 and three percent respectively.

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