Lilongwe, September 8, Mana: Oxfam has commended government for its bold steps taken to strengthen the nutritional sector in the country.
Oxfam in Malawi Country Director, Lingalireni Mihowa made the commendation Tuesday in a press statement issued in Lilongwe
She noted that, “The deployment of nutrition frontline workers would bring the much needed capacities at local level to implement nutrition activities at point of impact.
“We applaud the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS for identifying, as a priority, the need to create a budget line for nutrition at district level. This will enable the office of the Principal Nutrition, HIV and AIDS Officer (PNHAO) to have the required resources to discharge its mandate,” Mihowa pointed out.
Speaking during the launch of SUN 3.0 on September 2, 2021 in Lilongwe, President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera said, “My administration is committed to fulfill nutrition agenda through…strengthening nutrition operations and systems nationwide; allocating adequate resources to the nutrition budgets of local councils; and placing nutrition officers across the country to render specialized nutrition services to all Malawians, including those in hard-to-reach rural areas.”
The Release said this was a clear indication of the government’s commitment and the highest political will to see the country accelerate attainment of better nutrition outcomes through strengthening capacity at district and local levels and ensuring there are adequate budgets to drive the needed action.
It added that when done according to the President’s desire and directives, the impact of these initiatives will help this nation turn the corner on tackling the challenges faced in this important sector.
PNHAO for Salima, Joana Chitaya said the scale up of the nutritional sector would help the district council to provide adequate funding for the sector.
She said the council has a lot of programmes to fulfill but they are being limited due to lack of financial resources.
Oxfam with support from German Cooperation through GIZ is implementing a project on support for the nutrition sector.
Oxfam and partners have been working in Dowa, Salima, Lilongwe and Nkhotakota implementing the scaling up nutrition project that contributed towards improving nutrition status of more than 120 thousand people.
This project reduced stunting from 39.4 percent to 34.2 percent in the targeted impact areas; reduced underweight from 11.6 percent to 9.7 percent and reduced wasting from 4.7 percent to 1.8 percent.
Government joined the global movement of SUN in 2011 which is a collective effort to support governments to invest in policies and actions that improve maternal and child nutrition from conception until a child reaches the age of two.
Under the banner ‘Unite to End Stunting’ the government through the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS Office has coordinated delivery of nutrition services across all levels.