Disburse nutrition budget funds quickly - Jafo

20Mar 2019
The Guardian Reporter
DODOMA
The Guardian
Disburse nutrition budget funds quickly - Jafo

DAR ES SALAAM and Kilimanjaro regions lead in the country with high rates of over-nutrition — excessive supply of nutrients in the body, the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC) has revealed.

The revelation was made by a representative of TFNC director, Geofrey Chiduo while giving a report on the state of malnutrition in the country through ‘Smart Simplicity,’ an innovative approach to address the problem.

He made the observation in a meeting attended by regional commissioners, regional administrative secretaries, some district commissioners and district executive directors, among other nutrition stakeholders.

Chiduo noted that the organization is now fighting two enemies that are malnutrition and lack of availability of foods rich in nutrients, maintaining that malnutrition is a big problem in the country.

“I would like to state it before you leaders that Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro are the leading in terms of over nutrition cases in the country,” he said, calling for concerted efforts to scale up education on nutrition.

He however said: “It is even more worrying that even regions with surplus food supply have considerable malnutrition, recording many cases.”

Talking about smart simplicity, he said the method will increase nutrition issues in the regions by ensuring cooperation between different sectors using existing mechanisms.

He also noted that one of the setbacks in the war against malnutrition is that meetings on the matter are often attended by representatives from various departments and not directors.

Selemani Jafo, the Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments),  earlier while opening the meeting, directed 31 councils that have not disbursed the nutrition budget funds to do so within 14 days.

The report on the budget funds should reach the ministry within 21 days after the meeting. “The biggest problem is release of nutrition budget funds and going by that style we should not expect changes in the rate of malnutrition in the country,” he declared.

Jafo reminded the regional leaders that on 19th December, 2018 regional commissioners signed an agreement on implementation of nutrition policy matters, where some local government authorities are doing well while others are lagging behind.

Top regional and district officials must take the matter seriously, as there are thousands of children with malnutrition complications especially in ten regions in the country.

He took issues with heads of departments who instead of doing things for themselves delegate them to junior staff who are less experienced on such important matters.

Speaking at the same meeting, Joseph Nyamhanga the Permanent Secretary in PO-RALG said the government was setting aside Sh 50 billion for nutrition issues in the 2019/2020 financial year.