Malawi reduces stunting

 

Malawi has reduced stunting among children from 47 percent to 37 percent in the past decade, which experts say is a sign of improved nutrition and food security.

Former vice-president Justin Malewezi, who is also lead convenor of the Zero Hunger and Malnutrition Strategic Review in Malawi, made the observation on Friday in Lilongwe at the launch of the Beatrice Mtimuni Scholarship (BMS).

Mtimuni (2nd R) and Malewezi (3rd R) during the launch

He said:  “Our findings reveal that Malawi has made important progress in reducing the burden of malnutrition along multiple dimensions over the last decade or so. More children are thriving in Malawi now than in the past. We need to continue working so that the stunting rate reduces to zero.”

Malewezi noted that the progress is not enough as many people face reduced access to food due to shocks in agricultural production and cultural practices, among other things.

Mtimuni, a nutrition expert from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar), called for continued interventions that have contributed to reduced malnutrition figures.

“The fact that we have been able to achieve this means that if we continue with the interven we will significantly reduce malnutrition in our country,” she said.

BMS was launched to honour the legacy of the nutritionist as the longest-serving female member of faculty at Luanar.

She has worked with the institution since 1971, serving 642 undergraduate and 178 post graduate students in the five decades.

The scholarship will support young Malawian students with financial challenges to pursue degree studies in food and human science studies at Luanar. n

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