Action Hope Malawi executive director Sammy Aaron says Malawians should be encouraged to consume nutritious locally available foods if malnutrition is to be curbed in the country.
He made the remarks on Tuesday in Zomba during a community awareness campaign aimed at sensitising people to the benefits of eating cheaper nutritious foods.
H Aaron e said his organisation has set up backyard gardens and conducted cooking sessions championed by nutritionists to encourage caregivers and motivate one another to improve nutrition.
He said: “Most families think nutritious foods have to be bought because they do not know that most of the locally available foods have the needed nutrients for the growth of their children.
“Foods such as blackjack [chisoso], locusts and other crops and insects are a good source of vitamins and proteins.”
Lambulira Village community member, whose child is benefitting from the initiative, Liviness Namuona, observed that changing people’s mindset is a gradual process, as such, stakeholders interested in nutrition should invest their time and resources in reaching out to communities.
In his remarks, dietitian Limbikira Wansambo said micro-nutrient deficiencies disable the body and make it unable to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for the proper growth and development.
Action Hope Malawi, with funding from Egmont Trust, is implementing a one-year project called Nutrition and Art Adherence Among Children and the Youth Living with HIV and Aids in traditional authorities Chikowi and M’biza in the district.