KIGALI - Every Rwandan child will soon be able to take a pint of milk everyday as a government initiative that aims at supplementing their diets.
This was approved by cabinet meeting earlier this week where it was suggested that urgent activities be done to kick start this programme as soon as possible.
“It is a very good programme that will improve the health of the children as well as boost their level of academic performance. Most of the time children come to school with empty stomachs and we all know that a child who takes milk becomes very active.
We are therefore happy and look forward to the programme’s implementation,” Mathias Harebamungu, the Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education, told The New Times.
According to Harebamungu, the details of this initiative are under the Ministry of Agriculture.
“Our role as the Education Ministry is to ensure that all school going children get to benefit from the programme, but regarding when this will begin, or how often the milk will be distributed, is the role of a different ministry,” he added.
Efforts to reach the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, were futile as she could not answer calls.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, welcomed the new programme as one of the major means through which the country will raise stronger citizens for tomorrow.
“Such an idea that aims at giving milk to every child is a fantastic programme that we need to budget well and ensure that all our young children benefit. Milk boosts nutrition, and we believe that this initiative will begin with those with the highest need,” the official said.
Last year, the government took a strong stand to identify and treat malnourished children countrywide and Binagwaho notes that this new strategy will help accelerate efforts to curb malnutrition.