By APN Reporter
Authorities in Kabale District and other Nutrition stakeholders have expressed the need for the appointment of a nutritionist in the district and formulation and enforcement of by-laws on poor waste management as some of the strategies to reduce cases of malnutrition and under-nutrition in the District.
These strategies were agreed upon on Thursday, as action points during a one-day Budget fact sheet sensitization meeting for Kabale District that was held in the district board room, aimed at prioritizing commitments as follow-up strategies in line with Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) and Nutrition priorities.
The meeting was organized by Community Integrated Development Initiative-CIDI in partnership with Wilmat Development Foundation, which is co-implementing the Right2Grow program in Kabale District.
The Right2Grow project is intended to improve nutrition services, with more focus on community empowerment and advocacy, by strengthening civil society to advocate for an enabling environment, where government decision-makers and other key stakeholders jointly and effectively address undernutrition in a multi-sectoral gender-sensitive, and inclusive manner.
The Kabale District Principal Assistant Secretary, James Mugisha, who represented the Chief Administrative Officer, Fred Kalyesubula, highlighted that some of the gaps, which included, information dissemination gaps, food insecurity, lack of a nutritionist, poor waste management at the community level, inadequate prioritization of WASH services in schools, and poor and substandard agricultural inputs, have continued to hinder the district’s efforts fight against malnutrition
The Project Coordinator for the Right to Grow program, working with Community Integrated Development Initiative-CIDI, Evelyne Zalwango, observed that the interface with the different Nutrition stakeholders was intended to disseminate fact sheets on WASH financing for the 2022/23 financial year, with the purpose of identifying some of the areas that need to be given attention, to help the district identify gaps in the 2022/2023 budget related with nutrition that need to be emphasized for proper budget advocacy.
Zalwango added that most communities in Kabale District have always raised a concern of inadequate land as one of the factors that lead to malnutrition. She, however, called on the public to always use and maximize the existing land by doing backyard gardening and as well as engaging in horticulture.
Zalwango, also observed the needy for awareness creation on how to feed children as well as doing cooking demonstrations, because the methods that people use make it very difficult for the foods to retain their nutrients, which all lead to malnutrition.
The Kabale District LCV Vice Chairperson Miria Akankwasa Tugume, who represented the District LC5 Chairperson, Nelson Nshangabasheija, noted that they are determined to bridge the highlighted gaps that continue to hinder the fight against malnutrition and under-nutrition in the district.
Research conducted between 2013-2015, indicated that 2.2 million children approximately 29 percent of children aged 5 years were stunted, while in the Kabale district, the prevalence of stunting among children aged 6-59 months was high at 41.1%.