Govt, UNICEF join forces to combat malnutrition in Mudzi District

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By Tinei Tuhwe

Government with support from UNICEF ZIMBABWE, conducted a joint nutrition support and monitoring visit in Mudzi District in order to curb malnutrition cases.

This follows a recent UNICEF global report which revealed that a staggering 181 million children under the age of 5 – equivalent to 1 in 4 children are suffering from extreme food insecurity, increasing their risk of wasting, a life-threatening form of malnutrition, by up to 50%.

Alarmingly, this crisis affects 580,000 children in Zimbabwe, a number that may escalate due to the current drought exacerbated by El Nino, further jeopardizing their health and well-being.

The District Medical Officer (DMO) Kudzai Madamombe of Mudzi district has said the area is facing significant challenges in terms of malnutrition due to the El Nino-induced drought.

He indicated that to tackle malnutrition, the MoHCC and UNICEF have launched two key initiatives -school feeding programs and community-based feeding programs.

These programs aim to provide nutritious meals to children, thereby bolstering their health and well-being.

“We have implemented various measures and programs to curb malnutrition cases.

“Our school feeding programs have been successful, providing a foster diet to every child at least once or twice a week.

“We have also implemented community-based feeding programs, where the community comes together to feed every child, using locally sourced food,” he said

Madamombe added that despite progress made, they continue to record severe and moderate acute malnutrition cases, urging the government and partners to support their efforts.

“While these efforts have led to a decrease in malnutrition cases, we still need substantial financial and food assistance to completely address the issue.

“We are still recording quite a number of children coming with severe and moderate acute malnutrition.

“We hope that the government and our partners will hear our cry so that it will ensure that malnutrition cases will decline and we will be able to fight it,” he said.

He also added that village health workers and lead mothers in Mudzi District are also preparing nutritious porridge, known as “maworese,” to ensure optimal nutrition.