By Elias Hakizimana.
A lot have been done to fight malnutrition and stunting in Rwandan families especially among children, but planning of activities and budget allocated to fighting the issue is still questioned.
Sun-Alliance has called all concerned levels to take action on the next years’ planning where they have started coordinating all concerned districts’ officials and other partners who have linkage with fighting against malnutrition and stunting countrywide.
The initiative that will be using Rwf90 million delivered by Netherlands through SNV-Voice for Change Project under Sun Alliance implementation has kicked off in Nyanza District today, July 16, 2018 through a three-day workshop with Districts ‘nutritionists from four among the affected districts by high stunting prevalence namely: Nyanza, Nyamagabe, Huye and Nyaruguru were are gathered together to take action together.
This activity will last one month and will be done in all the districts of Rwanda.
The average stunting countrywide stands at 38%, according to statistics from the 2014/2015 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), a recent report by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.
Callixte Kayiranga, Director of Health in Nyamagabe District said that they have current partner-projects in fighting against malnutrition and stunting through building capacity of families and Community Health Workers (CHWs).
He believes that through planning together as Districts, they will focus on key activities in regard with fighting malnutrition and stunting.
“We have a lot of things to do: the first problem is food security that involved lack of enough food. We need also to change parents’ mindset and see their role in catering for the family’s nutrition especially for children,” Kayiranga said.
“There should be enough food, with partners, we believe we will increase food, kitchen gardens, increase agriculture productivity and teach families to prepare food when it is available,” he added.
Venuste Muhamyankaka, Ag. Executive Director of SUN Alliance said that this initiative aims at bringing together all districts’ officials in charge of fighting against malnutrition to sit and plan together all activities to attain their objectives.
“We see planning as a key factor in the development of the country, reason why we have organized this activity. We will follow on how this initiative is implemented if the districts are referring to it when implementing their performance of contract. Sun Alliance role today is to coordinate and follow on every activity and we are today in Southern Province but we will move to Northern, Western and Northern Province,” said Muhamyankaka.
The southern Province itself has reduced malnutrition to 42 percent and among the four affected districts each has over 20,000 stunted children.
Government welcomes the initiative
Marie Rose Mureshyankwano, the Governor of Southern Province said that the government is putting efforts in reducing malnutrition and stunting, thanking these partners to look on how districts can plan together to end the issue.
“All partners under this sector of fighting malnutrition and stunting as well as local government authorities in all districts should sit together and plan together following the existing number in stunting and malnutrition and then take action together. It will be better in every three years when they do monitoring and evaluation together to be able to do improvements for the next year,” Mureshyankwano said.