World Food Programme (WFP) country director Coco Ushiyama has said an innovative stunting prevention programme underway in Ntchisi District has revealed positive results in curbing stunting among children.
The review follows a recent Cost Anger in Africa Study which found that Malawi experiences annual losses of nearly K258 million due to associated costs of child under-nutrition.
Speaking during a field visit to Ntchisi on Tuesday, Ushiyama said she is encouraged by the positive results in dealing with cases of stunting.
She said: “We hope lessons from this innovative programme will strengthen and inspire scale up of effective food and nutrition security interventions.
“These high impact field solutions need to be matched with national investment if Malawi is to reach levels of zero hunger and zero stunted children.”
In her remarks, Ntchisi district commissioner Malango Botomani said the model is an excellent example of multi- sectoral and district-wide action to reduce stunting.
She also said some of the challenges communities face include not knowing how to prepare a balanced meal and cultural beliefs which stop people from eating certain foods such as eggs.
The programme will run up to 2017 and includes provision of nutrient-rich fortified food supplements, treatment of moderate acute malnutrition and a behavioural change campaign targeting both women and men, focusing on the importance of health, hygiene and nutrition.
About 66 000 mothers and children will take part in the programme which seeks to reduce child stunting by between five and 10 percent. n