Mangochi District Council senior nutrition, HIV and Aids coordinator Smith Mnenula has said non-governmental organisations (NGOs) implementing various nutritional projects need to work together to deal with stunted growth.
In an interview, he said almost half of the children in the district are at risk of dying due to malnutrition-related illnesses.
He was speaking in the context of nutrition projects being implemented in the district by We Effect, an NGO which engages communities in the production of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes to improve their nutritional and commercial benefits.
Mnenula, quoting figures from the Ministry of Health and Population Services, said the district’s stunting rate stands at 45.4 percent, surpassing the national rate at 37.1 percent.
He attributed the problem to failure by some NGOs to work in partnership, adding that some of them are also not abiding by government’s code of working standards in implementing nutrition projects.
“This creates duplication of efforts and leaves out areas which need immediate attention. Let us cooperate and follow government’s pre-designed tools and structures,” said Mnenula
We Effect project officer Beatrice Tangwe said through their five-year project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USaid), they have committed to reducing stunting to 20 percent. n