14 September 2017

Rwanda: Rwf4 Billion Project to Help Tackle Stunting in Nyabihu

A new project worth Rwf4 billion has been launched in Nyabihu District as part of broad efforts to eliminate malnutrition among children under 5 years and nursing mothers.

Dubbed 'Embrace', the four-year project is backed by Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA)-Rwanda.

It will be implemented in four sectors that are among the most affected by malnutrition in the district, namely; Karago, Jenda, Bigogwe and Kintobo.

Nyabihu is one of the country's top producers of Irish potatoes. Yet, it's one of the districts with the highest rates of malnutrition in the country, a phenomenon that's largely blamed on lack of knowledge on healthy feeding.

The 2015 Demographic Health Survey (DHS) showed that Nyabihu has the highest rate of preventable stunting in children under five years.

Nyabihu recorded 59 per cent stunting rate, far above the national average of 38 per cent.

The new project is therefore expected to significantly reduce preventable stunting and maternal-child mortality, officials said.

Speaking at the launch in Kigali on Tuesday, Alphonse Munyantwari, the Governor of Western Province, said the scale of stunting in the district should not be interpreted to mean that the district lacks food that's rich in nutrients, calling on the development partners to focus on changing the community's mindset.

"It is a matter of mindset and ignorance on nutritious feeding. I hope this project will help us fight stunting among children to ensure they do not face growth complications," he said.

As part of the project work, ADRA-Rwanda donated 150 cows to vulnerable families in the district.

It is projected that some 300 more cows will be distributed to households in the beneficiary sectors in the course of the project activities.

Up to 7, 010 households have been identified as potential beneficiaries.

Ngaite Nkomo Mgeni, the country director of ADRA-Rwanda, said the project will help develop a healthy community capable of contributing toward the country's development.

"A nation that is not healthy cannot develop, so we have to make sure its people are healthy before thinking about development," she said, adding that they hope to extend the project in other parts of the country.

Reuben Muvunyi, the project coordinator, said since the project started last year (ahead of the official launch), some gains have already been made.

"We hope that, at the end of the day, communities will be in position to tell what they need to eat and to feed children to avoid stunting and other related health complications," he said.

He said of the 1846 malnourished children in Nyabihu, 60 per of them are benefiting from the project.

'Embrace' operates in four countries, namely Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines and Rwanda.


Francophonie - Rwanda Bids for the Position of Secretary General

The special envoy of the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame on June 14, 2018 handed a message to Prime Minister Philemon… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.