9 November 2018

Malawi: Ministry of Health Introduces Nutrition Drugs

Salima — Ministry of Health with support from UNICEF has introduced a project to supply mineral drugs to adolescent girls and pregnant women in Salima District.

Following different physical problems women and girls face due to some mineral deficiencies, the Ministry of Health has introduced Iron Folic Acids (IFA) supplement which is associated with a reduced risk of iron deficiency and anemia in pregnant women and those in menstrual period.

Speaking with Malawi News Agency (MANA), District Nutrition Coordinator, Kingsley Chizeze, said the high percentage of women facing anemia will benefit from the supplements.

"In addition to reduced anemia cases in women and adolescent girls, the drug ensures a healthier wellbeing of the females and the program will also help educate them on how they should take their health status seriously during pregnancy and menstrual period," said Chizeze.

The Chief Nutritionist from the Department of HIV and Nutrition, Frank Msisya, explained that it is important that the girls get the mineral supplement when they start distributing it in the communities to prepare themselves for menstrual periods and pregnancy.

"We are targeting girls from ten years and above, both at school and those who dropped because this is the age these girls start their menstrual periods, lose blood every month and they are more vulnerable to anemia.

"So, we are mobilizing the communities to help us reach our goal and help reduce problems the girls and women face during menstrual and pregnancy periods," added Msisya.

The IFA supplement is currently being experimented in six districts, some of which are Salima, Mangochi and Machinga, and if the project succeeds, the ministry will scale it up to all districts across the country.

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