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Ugandan still grapples with gaps in nutrition

By Violet Nabatanzi

Added 1st March 2019 04:01 PM

The health minister, Dr Ruth Aceng explained that though the country has all foods of all types that can address micronutrient deficiency, there is a gap in knowledge on how much to take and how to prepare it.

Ugandan still grapples with gaps in nutrition

The minister of health Dr Ruth Aceng (C) chatting with the secretary General Uganda Nutrition Society Dr. Gaston Tumuhimbise (R) and Dr Hanifah Bachou after the launching of the Nutrition society of Uganda at the food science and technology conference hall, Makerere University in Kampala on Thursday. Photo by Violet Nabatanzi

The health minister, Dr Ruth Aceng explained that though the country has all foods of all types that can address micronutrient deficiency, there is a gap in knowledge on how much to take and how to prepare it.

HEALTH|NUTRITION 

KAMPALA - Uganda still grapples with gaps in nutrition as experts highlight the need to empower people with information on nutritious foods in the language they understand.

Speaking during the launch of `The Nutrition Society of Uganda', the health minister, Dr Ruth Aceng explained that though the country has all foods of all types that can address micronutrient deficiency, there is a gap in knowledge on how much to take and how to prepare it.

The Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2016 report indicated that majority of Ugandans consume less than the recommended three meals per day with 51% consuming two meals per day while 12% consumed one meal per day.  This means that there was inadequate number of meals in households.

Aceng observed that her ministry has prioritized nutrition and upgraded the nutrition unit into a division with a big workforce at the national level.

"We have nutritionists deployed in the Regional Referral Hospitals and some General Hospitals. Our plan is to ensure that all the vacant positions at all levels are filled. We are working hand in hand with the Health Service commission to ensure this is achieved," Aceng, who was also appointed the Patron Nutrition Society of Uganda said.

She reminded nutritionists that food and nutrition security is a key input in the development of nations, adding that this is why President Yoweri Museveni is a very strong advocate for nutrition.

Aceng noted that her ministry is working hard to ensure that nutrition is part and parcel of the other health interventions for better health outcomes.

A senior Economists at the Office of the Prime Minister, Samuel Ggaliwango said the levels of stunting is currently standing at 29% from 33%, though the target is to reduce it to 25 % by 2020 .

Ggaliwango said at the moment they are drafting a new Uganda Nutrition Action plan.

Experts says that food and nutrition situation adversely affects the wellbeing of the people and hinders economic development of our country adding that without adequate nutrition, it will be very hard for Uganda to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets.

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