Mulanje — Government has advised district councils in the country to incorporate issues of nutrition in their development plans to move in tandem with Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III (MDGSIII).
Speaking to Malawi News Agency on Monday in Mulanje, Deputy Director responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Sylvester Gawamadzi said the previous District Development Plans (DDPs) did not prioritize nutrition as a key health aspect as spelt out in the MDGS documents.
"As a country, we might have made strides in dealing with issues of malnutrition especially stunting which has dropped from 47 to 37 percent in the last eight years or so. But we need to do more to be in line with the global nutrition reduction key indicators.
"As Government, we feel a lot could have been achieved if such issues were well articulated in the local development plans," Gawamadzi observed.
He said: "This necessitated the need to review and propose new nutrition indicators to ably provide a comprehensive picture of Nutrition issues in Malawi as stipulated in the National Nutrition Policy."
By incorporating nutritional projects in DDPs, government believes there would be proper monitoring and reporting and more development partners would be willing to fund such projects to end malnutrition and stunting among under-five children.
Mulanje district Senior Nutrition, HIV and Aids Officer, Charles Lomoni shared Gawamadzi's sentiments saying such issues were overlooked in previous development plans yet they affect the development processes of the district.
"Nutrition is a development issue. We need healthy people to develop the nation. Take stunting for example, it also affects brain development which may lead to unproductive citizens in future," he said.
He therefore welcomed the development and assured government that such issues would be clearly highlighted in their DDP.