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Govt not committed to fighting malnutrition

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
Zimbabwe Civil Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition (ZCOSUNA) says the country’s national budget allocations is evidence enough that government is not committed to fighting malnutrition.
Malnutrition is generally the lack of proper nutrition caused by not having adequate food, not eating right foods or unable to use the food that one eats.
According to health experts, malnutrition can lead to stunted growth, vulnerability to infections, slow mental development and in some cases even death. Malnutrition is generally prevalent in developing countries such as Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the budget analysis workshop recently, ZCOSUNA co-ordinator Kudakwashe Zombe said the measly allocation from budget towards nutrition is the reason why there are reports of high levels of malnutrition in some parts of the country.
“The government is not committed to fighting malnutrition as evidenced by the paltry yearly budget allocations towards improving nutrition in the country for example in last year’s budget presentation less than 1%  was channelled for nutrition,” explained Zombe.
Cuthbert Mukora, director of Rural Enterprises of Zimbabwe said there is the need for government to deal with issues of nutrition with seriousness as they are critical for economic growth and also perpetuates poverty.
“Statistics have shown that malnutrition can lead to low Intelligent Quotient (IQ) which then mean a poor human capital for the economy which also means poor remuneration for such people,” he said.
According to a  survey, Manicaland Province has the most number of children who are stunted despite having a vibrant agriculture sector and Zombe attributed this to poor infant feeding practices in the area adding that people in the area are more concerned with the selling of produce rather than dietary and nutritional need.
ZCOSUNA is will soon be engaging the University of Zimbabwe with a view to assessing government’s commitments to nutrition for growth.

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