Malnutrition will continue to kill 17,000 children annually, laments Mhuru

By Staff Reporter

The Zambia Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance says 17,000 children will continue to die in Zambia annually if nutrition is not made a priority by authorities.

Mathews Mhuru, the Alliance Country Coordinator has observed that currently, efforts by government to end malnutrition in the country are not all encompassing as they have continued to elude the poor who are the most affected.

Mhuru has noted that although there had been a 5% drop in chronic malnutrition reported in the 2018 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey, mostly in children from wealthier households, 40.1% of children from poor households remain stunted.

 “These efforts are not in line with the theme of the Seventh National Development Plan which is “accelerating development efforts towards Vision 2030 without leaving anyone behind”, he said.

Commenting on the set priorities for 2020 by the National Development Coordinating Committee, Mhuru wondered why the plan had not prioritized the fight against malnutrition, a problem which affects the majority poor Zambians and accounting for about 45% of all child deaths in Zambia.

Mhuru has urged government to prioritise addressing the challenge of malnutrition.

“The country will only see meaningful development when significant progress is made in addressing this problem,” he said.