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Health

Mbabazi: Malnutrition At “Unacceptable Levels”

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malady http://defur.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-direct.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Mbabazi said while Uganda had made great strides in reducing poverty, http://chopcult.com/wp-content/themes/avada/framework/templates/images/secure.php malnutrition in children and mothers was still at unacceptable levels.

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The condition takes many forms, including low birth weight, stunting, wasting, and iron, vitamin A and iodine deficiency.

These factors surfaced at the first Uganda National Nutrition Forum hosted by the Prime Minister at his office this week.

Mbabazi said although the country had already paid too high a price for malnutrition and under-nutrition, not all hope was lost.

“Central Government remains responsible for coordination, policy development, planning and budgeting, resource mobilisation, quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation, while local governments will deliver nutrition services to the population,” Mbabazi noted.

He said the government had demonstrated its commitment to scaling up nutrition, adding: “Government has implemented many nutrition-sensitive programmes which include Water and sanitation, control of malaria and NAADS, to mention a few.”

Mbabazi, who had earlier toured a nutrition exhibition in the adjacent CHOGM Gardens, said as mandated to monitor government ministries, departments and agencies, his office would annually stock-take progress on nutrition activities through multi-sectoral fora.

“It cannot be business as usual,” he warned. “The Office of the Prime Minister will, starting next financial year, actively assess performance on nutrition indicators as part of the Government performance Report.”

Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere, minister for general duties in the Office of the Prime Minister urged mothers to buttress their babies’ nutritional requirements by breastfeeding them much longer.

In her keynote address, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Deputy Country Representative, May Anyabolu urged the Government to fast-track formulation of the Food and Nutrition Policy and tabling the Food and Nutrition Bill before Parliament.

The development partners included USAID, DFID, European Union, World Bank, UNICEF, the private sector and community service organisations.

They noted that Uganda was potentially a food basket for the region but paradoxically one of the countries with the highest malnutrition and under-nutrition rates in the world.

The USAID committed US$67.5m (close to Shs 170bn) to supporting the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan over five years, while the UK’s Department for International Development pledged Shs 152bn for the same purpose over the same period.

The development partners and other stakeholders later joined Prime Minister Mbabazi in signing a joint declaration of further commitment to scaling up actions meant to boost nutrition in the country, and closely working together in this endeavour.

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