DEDs lashed for laxity in fight against malnutrition

15Jan 2021
The Guardian
DEDs lashed for laxity in fight against malnutrition

​​​​​​​FIVE District Executive Directors (DEDs) have their jobs hanging by a thread for failing to implement the national policy on nutrition aimed at curbing stunting among children under the age of five.

The councils whose bosses are in trouble are lagging behind because they failed to execute the plan and submit reports thereof, the government stated yesterday.

Selemani Jafo, the Minister of State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments), made this affirmation yesterday when opening a review meeting for nutrition stakeholders to discuss implementation of the nutrition plan for the 2019/20 financial year.

The DEDs who are required to submit reports are those of Chato, Bukoba, Misenyi, Masasi and Biharamulo districts.

The government launched the National Multisectoral Nutrition Action Plan (2016/17 –2020/21) requiring regional and district nutrition officers to implement policy actions envisaged in the plan.

“Reports indicate that 25 districts performed well in the past fiscal year, timely disbursing nutrition funds. The five DEDs should submit detailed reports to the permanent secretary on why they have failed to implement the nutrition plan,” he directed.

 Since Biharamulo District has a new DED, the report should outline strategies to reduce malnutrition rate for the coming financial year, he stated.

The Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey of 2015-16 showed that the average rate of stunting in the country among children less than five years stood at 36 per cent, he said.

Tabora and Kilimanjaro regions are also lagging behind in implementing nutrition plans, in which case the ministry will now be conducting review meetings after every six months, he further noted.

 At the beginning of the plan, Vice President Samia Hassan Suluhu directed regional authorities to prepare nutrition implementation reports and ensure timely disbursement of nutrition budget funds, he pointed out.

Dr Ntuli Kapologwe, the Director for Health, Nutrition and Social Welfare in PO-RALG, said the conference was also going to discuss factors behind poor performance in regions with sizeable maize supplies, including Rukwa.

Malnutrition  is  one  of  the  most  serious  health  problems  affecting  infants,  children  and  women  of reproductive  age  among  others.

Despite progress there are acute forms of under-nutrition, including low birth weight, stunting, underweight, wasting and deficiency of micronutrients.

Improving nutrition is recognized in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly SDG 2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture) plus SDG 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages),l officials noted. Read More...

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