DODOMA Regional Commissioner (RC) Dr Binilith Mahenge has called for increased awareness on nutrition and urged local authorities, nutrition officers and the general public to join forces to end malnutrition in the area.
Malnutrition remains relatively higher among children below five years in Dodoma, according to government records with the national average standing at 34 per cent in the latest survey.
In his speech that was delivered by Mpwapwa District Commissioner (DC) Jabir Shekimweri, the RC said malnutrition is one of the major reasons for maternal and infant mortalities in the area, adding : "The delegates met here to review the performance for advancing nutrition contract between July 2019 and June 2020."
He said it was high time that all join hands to realise the goal of malnutrition-free Dodoma, warning "without necessary actions children will remain at greater risk in the region."
Elaborating, he said there was a need to have the best dietary practices and proper diet plan to improve immunity in the area.
Earlier, Dodoma Region Health Officer, Ms Harriet Carin noted that the nutrition reinforcement contract between the local authorities and regional administration tasks also public leaders to raise awareness and push for best and complete diet especially among children and expectant mothers.
"It is rare that this problem is publicly being mentioned as a main cause for fatality. It is also indisputable fact that poor nutrition also results into child stunting and subsequently poor academic performance," she elaborated.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests that malnutrition accounts for one-third of mortality among children below the age of five globally.
Experts believe traditional foods are rich immune boosters in contrast to junk food.
In 2018, the government survey found 37.2 per cent of children below five years in Dodoma had stunting, 3.7 per cent had wasting and 17.8 per cent were found with a record high of underweight.
Authorities in Dodoma maintained that the region continue to provide folic acid to expecting mothers as well as provision of nutrition education in accordance with the ministry of health guidelines.
During the financial year 2019/20 the region allocated 543.3mil/- in which 53 per cent or 288.1mil/- was spent to improve the health of a mother and child.