Forty-seven percent of under-five children in Mwanza are said to be malnourished. This was revealed by the assistant social welfare officer Aaron Macheka during training for 120 child care givers in the district.
Macheka attributed the problem to ignorance and poverty.
He said: “Most parents in the district fail to identify signs of malnutrition in their children due to ignorance, while in some cases it is because of lack of food at household level.
“Some parents mistake a child’s changing features for gaining weight, especially in cases of kwashiorkor or marasmus where the face is puffed-up.”
He said it was against this background that community based child care centres were established in the district where child caregivers provide civic education to parents and give special care to pregnant women and under-five children.
The trainings were funded by the Foundation for Community Livelihood and Development (Focold) through a project called Thanzi la mwana.
Focold executive director Jones Mwalwanda said realising the gravity of malnutrition in the district, the organisation came up with the project aimed at improving nutrition in respective communities using locally available resources.
The one-year project is being financially supported by Monsanto Funds to the tune of K20 million.