Malawi: Exclusive Breast Feeding Crucial to Reducing Malnutrition

Dowa — Exclusive breast feeding among women in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Mkukula in Dowa has help to reduce malnutrition among under five children in the area.

This was disclosed during a routine visit to Nkhadwe Jonasi Village in the area of TA Mkukula on Wednesday when officials from National Authorizing Office (NAO) Unit in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Oxfam and Catholic Health Commission (CHC) appreciated progress of European Union (EU) Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN).

Cluster Leader, Anna Maganizo stated that when the project was introduced in 2017 in the area and had encouraged women to exclusive breast feeding their children has help significantly.

She observed that there is huge drop of malnutrition and stunting cases among under five children in their area as a result of the project.

"The project has been encouraging us to be keen on observing balanced diets in our houses and follow all the six groups of food if we are to remaining healthy. We have seen the fruits of this initiative and we have really appreciate what EU, Oxfam and CHC have done to us," Maganizo said.

The Cluster Leaders noted that home gardens have reduced the burden in which families had to source money to buy vegetables on daily basis.

Maganizo added that every household has a home garden in which various plants are grown to supplement our dietary processes.

Nutrition Programme Officer for Oxfam, Chimwemwe Jemitala commended communities of Nkhadwe Jonasi village for implementing various initiative into to promote nutritional and hygiene issues.

She said what they were doing was in line in the implementation of the SUN project adding this would in the long run reduce cases of malnutrition among under five children.

"We would like to urge you to continue with what you are doing and make sure that your households are following good hygiene practices and maintaining balanced diets," Jemitala added.

Coordination and Visibility Officer at National Authorizing Office (NAO) Unit in the Ministry of Finance, Karen Manda said the provision of hand washing facilities in every household is very encouraging and this could help in the reduction of water borne diseases.

She said facilities should train their children on how to make use of the hand washing facilities so that this should be a routine practice where everywhere they go even at school.

Village Headman Nkhadwe Jonasi pointed out that the project has specially targeted under five children, expectant and breast feeding mothers in order to reduce case of malnutrition among children in the area.

"We are encouraging every household to have proper sanitary facilities, home gardens and keeping livestock's as one way of meeting the set objectives of the project," he explained.

Nkhadwe Jonasi Village has over 56 under five children eight breast feeding mothers with not malnutrition and stunting cases.

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