The Department of Nutrition, HIV and Aids (DNHA) will start providing Iron Folic Acid (IFA) tablets to about 100 000 adolescent girls aged between 10 and 19 for a period of 52 weeks in Dedza.
Dedza principalnutrition, HIV and Aids officer Ernest Kadzokoya said this during a pressbriefing in the district.
He said this is a pilot project the Malawi Government, in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAid), World Vision Malawi, and Adolescent Girls’ Literacy (Aglit) is implementing in six districts, namely Dedza, Salima, Mangochi, Machinga, Dowa and Lilongwe.
“Actually, this exercise is follows the 2015 Malawi Demographic Health Survey of which revealed that the prevalence of anaemia among girls of child-bearing age is 35.3 percent,” he said.
Kadzokoya said that World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended that in all countries where the prevalence of anaemia among girls of child-bearing age is 20 percent or higher, IFA should be provided.
In her remarks, Aglit social behaviour change officer Caroline Bande said when adolescent girls are anaemic, they are prone to miscarriages and low birth weight of babies. She said IFA deficiencies also contribute to high maternal mortality rates.
“We are, therefore, pleading with chiefs, area development committees [ADC] and church leaders to take the message to the people so that more girls should come and receive the tablets which will benefit them,” she added.