Tuesday, 22 November 2011

MALNUTRITION: Two million Ugandan children malnourished

Nov 16, 2011 By Prossy Nandudu

Mothers hold their children as they await malnutrition treatment in Karamoja

OVER two million children in Uganda under the age of five are chronically malnourished, the Minister of State for Agriculture Professor Zerubaberi Nyiira has revealed.
Nyiira made these remarks while officiating at a consultative workshop on Nutrient Rich Food Crops at the Golf Course Hotel recently.
“Malnutrition is the underlying cause of death in nearly 60 per cent of infants and 25 per cent of mothers especially in rural areas which have high incidences of poverty and malnutrition as compared to their urban counterparts," he observed.
The minister also revealed that the children under five years affected by malnutrition account for 38 per cent, of which 16 per cent are underweight while six per cent are said to be wasted.
“Promotion of nutrient-rich food crops is part of our endeavor to integrate nutrition into agricultural development programs to reduce malnutrition."
The workshop was organized by BRAC Uganda, an NGO offering different services, and is aimed at creating awareness on availability of nutrient-rich food crops in Uganda.
BRAC Executive Director Dr. Mahabub Hossain attributed the increasing rate of malnutrition cases in Uganda to inadequate nutrients like Vitamin A, zinc andiron in food intake particularly for the rural poor.
Dr.Mahabub suggested that citizens should breed locally grown food to increase their nutrition content in order to address challenges related to malnutrition in Uganda.
Such crops include staple foods that include beans, cassava, sweet potatoes, and maize.
The breeders assist in screening plants of staple food crops that contribute to high amounts of minerals or vitamins.
Nyiira assured the stakeholders that the challenge related to malnutrition would be addressed in Uganda’s Nutrition Action Plan (UNAP), a plan recently launched by the president with an objective of ensuring that all citizens are well nourished.
"The plan calls for the scaling up of interventions, placing emphasis on community-based initiatives that have been proved to yield cost effective results, as well as targeting areas and groups with the highest level of malnutrition," Nyiira noted.

No comments:

Post a Comment