Dedza District Nutrition and HIV and Aids principal officer Lottie Makina has asked the district council to increase budget allocation to nutrition programmes to reduce stunting among children in the district.
He made the call on Monday at Dedza Boma during the orientation of council members on nutrition activities organised by Oxfam in Malawi.
Makina said the District Nutrition Coordinating Committee noted gaps in nutrition activities, saying the council needs to take full responsibility in implementing the programmes for the benefit of the communities.
He said he noted that the District Development Plan has nutrition as a key priority area, but receives no funding.
“The council should accept that nutrition is a development issue which needs support. No district can develop if nutrition issues are not addressed,” said Makina.
Makina also said that 80 out of the district’s 248 primary schools are on school feeding programme; hence, the need to look for support to extend the programme to other institutions.
Dedza District Council chairperson Isaac Milanzi commended the District Nutrition Coordinating Committee for providing an insight into the district’s nutrition status.
“As a council, we need to look into the issues to take appropriate action,” he said.
Dedza District director of planning and development Mercy Mpakule said nutrition issues need support because they are global.
She said: “Development is not only about infrastructure. Nutrition is part of development because it shapes the growth of a person’s brain.
“If we want to have people that are innovative in their thinking, we should be keen to improve the district’s nutritional status.”
Dedza has a stunting prevalence rate of 42.8 percent against the national prevalence rate of 37 percent.
Oxfam in Malawi, with funding from GIZ, is implementing Popular Mobilisation Campaign Project for Increasing Resource Allocation and Accountability Towards Nutrition Sector in Malawi in Dedza, Dowa and Salima districts.