New drive to fight malnutrition

The Catholic Relief Service (CRS) has launched a campaign to fight malnutrition in the country. The drive will be conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Health and various civil society organisations under an alliance, dubbed Scaling Up Nutrition (Sun).
Children enjoy milk during a campaign against mulnutrition in 2013. (File)
Children enjoy milk during a campaign against mulnutrition in 2013. (File)

The Catholic Relief Service (CRS) has launched a campaign to fight malnutrition in the country.

The drive will be conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Health and various civil society organisations under an alliance, dubbed Scaling Up Nutrition (Sun).

The Sun movement was started in 2010 and brings together government, civil society organisations and scientists with a major aim of fighting malnutrition. Rwanda joined the movement in December 2011.

Cecile Teteli, a nutritionist at the CRS Rwanda, said they will map priority areas to enable the Ministry of Health identify areas of concentration in the fight against malnutrition.

Teteli also noted that the campaign targets vulnerable people living in the countryside.

Sensitisation campaigns on proper feeding, land consolidation and savings will be part of the drive, according to Teteli.

Alexis Mucumbitsi, an official in charge of nutrition at the Ministry of Health, said malnutrition in the country had gone down since 2005 following various interventions.

For example, stunting in children decreased from 51 per cent in 2005 to 38 per cent currently.

In 2009, government established committees to tackle malnutrition from the grassroots to the district levels.

Mucumbitsi attributed the remaining cases of malnutrition to lack of access to arable land, especially by households in first and second Ubudehe categories.

“The government focuses its efforts on such groups of people through Ubudehe, Girinka and VUP to ensure food security,” Mucumbitsi said.

A survey by the Ministry of Health shows that malnutrition is still high in the five districts of Rutsiro, Rubavu, Ngororero Nyabihu and Muhanga.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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