Dedza — pic by George Mponda
Traditional Authority Chilikumwendo has expressed concern over reports that some people in his area are chasing away volunteers when they visit their homes to spread messages on nutrition.
Speaking during a nutrition open day over the weekend at Linga Primary School in Traditional Authority Chauma, Chilikumwendo urged community members to be welcoming the volunteers.
"People need to realize that nutrition issues are good for them and the country as a whole. I would like to urge my fellow chiefs to stress on the importance of such messages to people in the villages so that they allow the volunteers into their homes as this is beneficial to their health," he added.
He commended the district council for always involving chiefs in nutrition issues.
"Dedza District Council through DNCC acknowledges that traditional leaders play a critical role in the fight against malnutrition.
"Currently, there are several partners who are working with us to ensure people in our areas are following good nutritional practices," he said.
In his remarks, Principal Nutrition, HIV and AIDS Officer for Dedza, Lottie Makina stressed that traditional leaders play an essential role in the fight against malnutrition.
"Government put in place systems to ensure that traditional leaders are involved through care groups. Chiefs should play a role in ensuring that their people are well informed about good nutrition.
"However, reports that some volunteers are chased from people's homes are very unfortunate. You know these volunteers are not paid anything, they sacrifice their time to do this good work," he said.
According to Makina, Dedza malnutrition among infants is at 42.8 per cent.