By Nicole Igihozo
A coalition of civil society organisations known as Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Alliance has announced a joint campaign against malnutrition. This was during the joint workshop on fast tracking of the ECD program in Nutrition organized in Nyanza on Monday.
The workshop brought together members and partners from all districts from the Southern Province involved in fighting malnutrition to plan on ways of fast tracking the eradication the nutrition programs in Early Childhood Development at grassroots.
While addressing the participants, Mureshyankwano Marie Rose the Governor of the Southern province called upon all the partners to work closely and to plan together on how to fight malnutrition from the ground up.
“All of you partners have to plan together with the district on how to deal with the problem of malnutrition. There should be coordination between the partners and the implementers if we are to realise tangible results” said Mureshyankwano.
According to the Governor, many factors like illiteracy, lack of sensitisation, parental care and funding which as one of the factors that slow the fight against malnutrition.
“There is a problem of low funds allocated to nutrition at the district level so there is need for partners to allocate more funds to supplement on these budgets so as to fast track malnutrition” she added
She also noted that preventing stunting can also help break the cycle of poverty.
“There is need for more collaborative efforts from development partners to eliminate malnutrition in the country,” she said. “From what we’ve seen, there has been progress in Rwanda in tackling malnutrition and the efforts of Sun Alliance in bringing together of civil society groups toward this cause will only further improve the situation,” she added.
Muhamyankaka Venuste, the executive director of SUN alliance, said the joint drive is aimed at harnessing and consolidating efforts in the fight against malnutrition.
Children below five years of age have malnutrition issues, 38 per cent face stunting while 7.7 per cent were overweight in 2015 countrywide, according to the Global Nutrition report, 2015.
“That is why we need to raise awareness about nutrition and to join hands and fight malnutrition among children,” Mukamyankaka said.
SUN Alliance has helped to facilitate rich and concerted advocacy activities to scale up nutrition, including organising knowledge exchange within and outside the country.
He cited poor mentality among some citizens among the challenges that undermine efforts against malnutrition.
Mukamyanka called on everyone to engage in the fight against malnutrition since it affects national development.
Established in 2014, SUN Alliance Rwanda is an umbrella organisation that brings together 80 civil society organisations engaged in promoting nutrition in the country.