Tanzania: Experts Call for Efforts to Combat Nutritional Challenges

ENHANCING Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health (ENRICH) programme, which was being implemented in Shinyanga and Singida regions for five years by World Vision Tanzania, officially closed business here, calling for more serious efforts to be applied in order to bring true success to the sector.

Acting National Director for World Vision Tanzania, Rev Dr Joseph Mayala made the call during a brief handover ceremony of the project to the government at the Singida RC Mission Social Centre.

"Nutritional challenges still exist and require serious efforts to continue addressing them and put more effort into behaviour change. This is due to social change and health providers contributing quickly into achieving the desired goals of eradicating malnutrition," he said.

However, he noted that during the implementation of the programme, which started in 2016 with the funding from the government of Canada and World Vision Canada, the level of health workers visiting households had increased from 8.2 percent to 85.7 per cent.

Also, the use of iron and folic acid in pregnant women had increased from 11.4 per cent to 51 per cent, use of mixed nutrients increased by 81 per cent and there was an increase in women attending clinics at least four times during pregnancy.

According to Rev Dr Mayala, among other things, the programme aimed to improve the delivery of health and nutrition services to pregnant, lactating mothers and children under the age of two, increase the production, consumption and absorption of foods rich in nutrients and biologically enhanced ones.

Receiving the project on behalf of the Ministry of health, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Reproductive Health Care Project Coordinator, Ms Dina Atinda thanked the government of Canada and World Vision Canada for funding the project.

She also commended all implementers of the programme for their tireless efforts in eradicating child malnutrition in the country.

"The money donated by these donors was not wasted at all as it brought back the baby's smile on the face. Tanzania government will make sure these efforts are carried out by implementing all the necessary interventions that were being implemented by ENRICH at all levels," he said.

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