10 October 2017

Tanzania: Experts - Malnutrition Now Affecting Economic Growth

Mwanza — Malnutrition has been mentioned as a worrying problem that has been affecting education, health and the economic growth of Mwanza Region.

This was revealed over the weekend by the acting regional administrative officer for Economics and Production, Mr Johannes Bukwali, in a seminar aimed at fighting the rampant spread of the problem in the region.

The seminar attracted representatives from the government, non-governmental organizations, health practitioners, food and nutrition officers and entrepreneurs.

Presenting the statistics, Mr Bukwali said retarding accounted for 39 per cent among children under the age of five in the 2015/16 period while those who were affected by wasting accounted for 4.3 per cent.

Underweight children were recorded at 14.1 per cent. The statistics indicated that 27 per cent of children under the age of five suffered from anaemia.

At least 45 per cent of women aged between 14 and 49 suffered from anaemia, which is caused by lack of a balanced diet.

Meanwhile, Mwanza Region's Food and Nutritional Officer Sophia Lazarus told The Citizen on Sunday by phone that their target in their attempt to control malnutrition among children under the age of five from 2016 to 2017 had not been easy as most people, especially in rural areas failed to respond to health campaigns and checkups.

"The region has a serious problem on stunting, particularly among children under the age of five. This has been caused by various factors, including poor diet among family members," she said.

She explained that although stunting cases among children under the age of five was 39 per cent in Mwanza Region, there were now non-governmental organisations (NGOs) trying to fight stunting complications.

Among the factors blamed for the problem in the region is negligence by parents and guardians.

According to health experts, malnutrition occurs when a person eats a diet in which nutrients are either not enough or are too much such that the diet causes health problems.

This causes damage to vital organs and functions of the body.

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