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Zimbabwe stunted growth levels drop 5%

by Staff reporter
28 Jan 2020 at 12:38hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT'S multi-sectoral approach to development is paying dividends with stunted growth levels dropping by five percent in the past five years, the Food and Nutrition Council (FNC) has revealed.

Last Thursday, the FNC, which is a department in the Office of the President and Cabinet conducted a media tour of projects being done in Bhubhude Village in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North aimed at fighting stunted growth.

During the tour, villagers showcased how communities can benefit from traditional foods such as isitshwala made from sorghum and millet to fight stunted growth while maintaining high levels of hygiene .

FNC programme assistant coordinator on policy and research Mr Alpha Ndlovu said before employing the multi-sectoral approach to development, one in every three children suffered from stunted growth and cases were above the national average in Tsholotsho district.  

"Before the programme started, our stunting was high as one in three children was stunted countrywide. The figure was high in Tsholotsho but as you can see from the trend, stunting cases have marginally reduced. We now have about one in five children suffering from stunting.  

"Although the numbers are still high, it's quite a positive step because in the last five years, we have managed to drop five percentage points in our stunted levels," said Mr Ndlovu.

He said this was achieved through bringing all Government departments and non-governmental organisations under one roof to implement various projects.

"A model village is where various sectors are converging to realise collective impact on food and nutrition security. What that means is that we have layering, sequencing of programmes from various players in one village so that there is an impact.  

"For example, in this village we have water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash) interventions that are addressing access to safe water. We also have nutrition food production activities.  

"We saw crop production and they keep various small livestock to complement that. They are not just improving on nutrition but hygiene as well," said Mr Ndlovu.

Tsholotsho district's environment health technician Ms Khanyiso Ncube said instead of individual ministries coming up with their projects, the multi sectoral approach has seen Government departments uniting to improve communities.  

"All extension workers are working towards one goal. Instead of calling a meeting for WASH and another for agriculture, we combine and have one meeting," said Ms Ncube.

Source - chronicle