Malawi is on course to reduce some key nutrition indicators, including stunting levels, a new survey has shown.
According to the Department of Nutrition, HIV and Aids director Felix Pensulo, an unpublished national end-line survey of 2018 indicates that the country has scaled down stunting to 36.4 percent.
He said: “This is a further drop from the 37.1 percent registered in the 2016 Malawi Demographic Health Survey (MDHS) report; which was a 10 percent drop from a decade earlier. This is all because of our collective efforts, which we need to enhance further to beat our targets.”
Pensulo was speaking in Lilongwe last week during a World Food Programme (WFP) supported prevention of stunting lessons and evaluation results dissemination me
eting at the Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc).
Other key nutrition indicators which Malawi has improved on include Vitamin A deficiency which has dropped from 22 percent in 2009 to four percent in 2016 and severe wasting which is now at one percent.
The findings also coincide with news that the pilot phase of the WFP supported project aimed at scaling up nutrition in Ntchisi was a success as it had reached 50 000 children aged between six and 23 months as the project wound up last month.
In his remarks, WFP country manager Benoit Thiry appealed to all relevant stakeholders to build on the successes and continue supporting the government to scale-up nutrition interventions.
“I applaud Malawi for the strides it has made in addressing nutrition issues in the previous years. The valuable lessons from this pilot project which are shared here today will help us influence future programming and research, and ultimately improve nutrition interventions for Malawi,” he said.
Thiry also tipped the upcoming National Nutrition Multi-Sectoral policy to be a springboard for ensuring continued support and cooperation when addressing nutrition issues in the country.
WFP partners with government to support food and nutrition policies and strategies, including the National School Health and Nutrition Policy, which is a framework for sustainable, coordinated and comprehensive health and nutrition programmes in Malawi’s schools. n