By Nicole Igihozo
Local leaders from many districts in the Western province gathered in Karongi district on the 23rd to brain storm on how best to fight against Malnutrition as the province has four out the five districts that are worst hit in the country.
The three day workshop that took place at Golf Hotel brought together members from Nutrition (SUN) Alliance, ADRA, FAO, and partners from all districts in the Western Province involved in fighting malnutrition to plan on ways of fast tracking nutrition programs in Early Childhood Development at grassroots.
While addressing the participants, Habiyaremye Pierre Celestin the secretary of the Western 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 realize tangible results” said Habiyaremye.
According to Muhamyankaka Venuste, the executive director of SUN alliance, an umbrella organization that brings together 80 civil society organizations engaged in promoting nutrition in the country said that a lot of effort is needed in the Western province to fight malnutrition and that lack of sensitization, parental care and funding are one of the factors that slow the fight against malnutrition.
“There is a problem of how parents understand nutrition in these districts and also lack of adequate funds. What needs to be done here is for partners to allocate more funds to supplement on these budgets so as to fast track malnutrition” he added
Though there has been progress in fighting malnutrition in Rwanda, 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.
There is need for more collaborative efforts from development partners to eliminate malnutrition in the country by raising awareness about nutrition.
SUN Alliance has helped to facilitate rich and concerted advocacy activities to scale up nutrition, including organising knowledge exchange within and outside the country.