[EDITORIAL] Stunting in children; the buck stops with the parents

Fighting stunting among children requires everyone’s efforts if the country’s target to reduce stunting from the current 38 per cent to 15 per cent by 2020 is to be achieved.

This call was made by officials from Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), and the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) last week.

Government has put in place several measures to fight stunting over the years, which has seen figures drop from 42 per cent in 2010.

Like Dr Anita Asiimwe, the National Early Childhood Development Program coordinator noted while presenting figures about the rate of stunting and malnutrition in the country, more efforts are needed if the trend is to be reversed. There is need for extra efforts to achieve the set target, especially on the side of parents.  

Without more concerted efforts from parents, the campaign against stunting will be in vain. No parent should allow their child to become stunted. It is the primary responsibility of every parent to ensure that their child grows up normally and healthy.

Most cases of stunting are a result of negligence on the side of parents. Parents with stunted children should face some level of disciplinary action to send a warning to other parents that having a child and you neglect them to a level of stunting is unacceptable.

The measures could range from publically shaming parents whose children are stunted, among others. Most households have the food but a poor mindset, and lack of skills to prepare a balanced diet and, in some cases, irresponsible parenting are the cause. This also calls for more house to house sensitization campaigns to teach households, especially in rural areas about ensuring a balanced diet using the available food in households.

In that regard, it should be mandatory for each household to have a kitchen garden.