Mangochi, Mangochi District Council has described Ndisakanizeni, the new micronutrient powder (MNP) introduced by government in the health system, as the appropriate intervention owing to the district’s prevailing stunting levels among children.
Principal Administrative Officer (PAO) for Mangochi District Council, Dominic Mwandira, made the remarks on Tuesday when the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS (DNHA) introduced the MNP intervention to the District Executive Committee (DEC).
Mwandira said the council would do all it can to support implementation of the intervention at all levels, appealing to all civil society organizations in the district to partner the local council in ensuring smooth implementation of the programme.
On our part as the council, we will make sure that the programme is implemented successfully so that we improve the nutritional status of our children. We also expect that partners such as the health sector will do their part in seeing that the initiative is a success, Mwandira added.
In his remarks, Mangochi District Health and Nutrition Officer, Chifundo Manong’a, pointed out that the district has made little progress in reducing stunting for the past five to seven years.
He said hoped with the introduction of Ndisakanizeni for supplementary feeding, the process to reduce stunting among children would be accelerated.
According to the 2016 Demographic and Health Survey, stunting rate among children in Mangochi was at 45 per cent down from 48 per cent in 2010 while at national level it dropped from around 47 per cent to 37 per cent during the same period, said Manong’a.
So as it is, we are way above the national prevalence rate and there is much that needs to be done to it, at least, reduce it to some reasonable rate in the next five years or so, he added.
The new complementary feeding powder is a mixture of 15 vitamins and minerals that are essential for the good health of children aged 6-24 months in Malawi, according to Principal Nutrition, HIV and AIDS Officer, Chimwemwe Ng’ambi.
Ng’ambi, however, noted that due to the powder’s colourless and tasteless nature, it could easily be mixed into supplementary food given to young children.
The benefits of Ndisakanizeni are that it increases the child’s appetite and helps make the child grow healthy, strong and active. The powder also prevents vitamin and mineral deficiencies, besides reducing anemia and illnesses, Ng’ambi said.
Ndisakanizeni will be supplied to children of the target age group through growth monitoring centres and each child will be given a packet containing 30 sachets, each weighing 1 milligram.
The child would be supplied with one sachet per meal at an interval of two days implying that a packet of 30 Ndisakanizeni sachets would last a child two months.
The Principal Nutrition, HIV and AIDS Officer said the complementary feeding powder whose brand name is ‘mix-me’ is being implemented in over 40 countries in Africa and that in countries where it was rolled out earlier such as Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, the results were very remarkable.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA