GASABO - Kibagabaga Hospital in Gasabo District has started a nutrition education campaign aimed at improving proper feeding and preventing malnutrition as well as non-communicable diseases that result from poor feeding.
The campaign was launched last week with the training of mothers from Gasabo District on proper feeding practices, especially for children, in a bid to fight malnutrition among children below the age of 10.
The campaign which will later target the populace at the grassroots in all sectors of the district, will see the hospital sensitise and create awareness among people on what constitutes proper nutrition for children and families.
The drive started with a demonstration to a selection of mothers from the cell level, who will also be required to train mothers in their respective cells and furnish them with knowledge regarding proper feeding.
In an interview with The New Times, the Director General of Kibagabaga Hospital, Dr. Christian Ntizimira, said the hospital started the program as part of the national fight against malnutrition.
“Through proper feeding, we can prevent non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and other conditions that result from people not knowing what to eat.
“What we know is that some of these things that constitute proper feeding are not expensive, some we have in our backyards but we don’t know how to use properly. Every family can afford a nutritious meal at very little cost,” Ntizimira said
He noted that the drive began at the hospital targeting mothers but later the hospital will invite other groups of people, including members of the working class who spend little time on knowing what their families eat, dedicating more time to work.
“We got the motivation out of a small survey we did last year after many mothers continued to come to the hospital with children who were not looking really healthy yet some of them were from able families.
“We went out to the people and carried out a survey which indicated that most of the people didn’t know how to properly feed their children, especially when it comes to the importance of fruits,” Dr. Ntizimira said
According to Marie Louise Uwimana, the Vice Mayor of Gasabo District in charge of Social affairs, like in other parts of the country, the district still faces a huge challenge of malnutrition especially among young children below five.
She, however, noted that the government has a nationwide nutritional program that targets children as part of its vision and target to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
Uwimana said that malnutrition in most cases results from ignorance because most of the food items needed for proper nutrition are easily accessible by most families while most of them are sold cheaply in the rural parts of the district where high cases of malnutrition exist.
“Malnutrition is still responsible for most child mortality cases yet it is preventable. Mothers need to put what they will learn in this campaign into practice if we are to have sustainable nutrition,” Uwimana said.
The Vice Mayor called on families to embrace family planning to promote better nutrition because the lesser children they have, the easier it is to feed.