The government has scaled up its nutrition program in the Lusaka district aimed at reducing stunting and malnutrition levels through the implementation of the 1,000 Most Critical days program under the coordination of the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC).
Lusaka Acting District Commissioner Maureen Chilende says she is positive that the program will uplift health standards among children in Lusaka.
She said this is because of the efforts the Commission is making to promote various interventions such as exclusive breastfeeding coupled with supplementary feeding and proper nutrition of expectant and lactating mothers among others.
Mrs Chilende explained that the multi-sectorial programme involves working with different line ministries promoting various interventions such as ‘WASH’ aimed at improving nutrition and ending stunting in Zambia.
“We are optimistic that the community in Lima ward of George compound will receive the programme very well following the interventions the health facility is teaching them such as healthy ways of feeding infants among others,” she explained.
She said when she visited Lima ward in George compound to encourage health personnel at George Health Centre and enumerators conducting the beneficiary registration in area on the importance of the programme.
Mrs Chilende who is also the District Nutrition Coordinating Committee Chairperson said Lima ward in George Compound is among the 33 benefiting wards in the district.
She has since called on the public to fully take advantage of the opportunities government and other stakeholders are putting at their disposal to help enhance the fight against malnutrition and stunting.
Meanwhile Provincial Nutrition Support Coordinator Fanwell Kabbila announced that the beneficiary registration for households to be captured on the 1000 most critical programs has started with four initial wards out of the 33 in Lusaka district.
Mr Kabbila cited Kanyama ward 11, Kabulonga, Mutendere and Lima ward in George compound as one of the areas with high levels of malnutrition in Lusaka a situation he said was overwhelming the facility in the area.
“The intention and objective of the program is to see how best cases of malnutrition can be managed at household level to reduce the burden on health facilities,” he said.
Mr Kabbila further noted that the servility of stunting beyond 2 years of the child’s life is permanent and cannot be corrected hence the need for various interventions to prevent the growth of problem.
He said that stunting in Lusaka District currently stands at 23 percent further clarifying that the figure may seem to be low but Lusaka has a high population if the figure is translated into actual numbers.
Meanwhile George Health Centre In-charge Bridget Banda said the 1000 most critical days program has come at an opportune time as the facility is facing various cases of malnutrition.
Mrs Banda expressed gratitude that government through the National Food and Nutrition Commission has expanded coverage of scaling up nutrition to stimulate nutrition levels in households.