The District Nutrition Coordinating Committee (DNCC) in Katete has recorded a significant reduction in malnutrition and stunting levels in the district.
Katete District Acting District Commissioner Anslow Muchelemba says the reduction in stunting and malnutrition levels could be attributed to the behavioural change towards nutrition that has occurred among communities in the district.
Ms. Muchelemba who is also DNCC Chairperson explained that the various behavioural change interventions that the DNCC has implemented in the district has seen communities know how to prepare various meals to enhance nutrition.
“It is not that they lack food but sometimes they sell it all. But right now when you go in these communities, behavioural change has taken place as they now understand nutrition, they understand the importance of not selling everything, they understand better preservation methods, and food mixtures in order to have nutritiously balanced meals. There is a lot of diversification happening,” she said.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Katete, Ms. Muchelemba said the behavioural change among communities is a sign of sustainability of best nutrition practices in Katete.
And Katete District Health Office (DHO) Nutritionist Christine Chaka confirmed that the reduction of stunting is as a result of the multi-sectorial and governance approach that the DNCC has demonstrated in its various interventions against malnutrition and stunting.
Ms. Chaka explained that before the establishment and intervention of the DNCC, the district used admit 10 or more of children with acute malnutrition at the St Francis Mission Hospital.
“Levels of malnutrition are quite low now, looking at the interventions that the DNCC has implemented. Even at St Francis where we have inpatient wards, in the past, we used to have a high number but now you will just find four to five children in the ward. We have also been managing them from facility levels,” she said.
Meanwhile, Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) District Nutrition Officer Amos Lwando said the multi-sectorial approach has enabled his institution to easily meet its targets that are in line with the various interventions that the DNCC desires to achieve.
“The multisectoral approach is like working as a family, the DNCC is a close family, and we involve each other in our works. During my first days in the DNCC meetings, I was adamant and did not know what to contribute, but after finding out that all partners play a role in raising a child, I became interested. The multi-sectorial approach towards nutrition is very important,” he said.