WHO in efforts to reduce malnutrition in Busoga

By Moses Bikala

Previously, some parents are said to have attributed malnutrition to witchcraft.

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IGANGA - The World Health Organization (WHO) has embarked on a program to eliminate malnutrition in children below the age of five in Busoga region.

WHO country in-charge of nutrition, Dr. Florence Turyashemerwe, malnutrition cases among children in mentioned age bracket have in on the rise in the region in the past five years.

She said one of the reasons is mothers failing to breastfeed their children for at least six months after month.

Turyashemwerwe made the remarks while handing over motorcycles and laptops for use to district health officers of Iganga, Namutumba and Luuka in Iganga municipality.

They are to be used for mobilizing expectant mothers in Busoga to improve their nutrition.

WHO estimates that malnutrition accounts for more than 54% of child mortality worldwide, about 1 million children.

The global health organisation also estimates that that childhood underweight is the cause for about 35% of all deaths of children under the age of five years worldwide.

Turyashemwerwe said previous efforts to sensitize expectant mothers on the significance of breastfeeding have not been fully embraced.

As many as 4,678 expectant mothers have been receiving nutrition boosters and mosquito nets to avoid contracting malaria as one of the preventive measures.

District leaders have been urged to set aside funds to cater for the fight against malnutrition. Beneficiaries of the handouts – district health officers – were cautioned against diverting the items for personal use.

It will now be easier to monitor cases of underage malnutrition in the area, said Iganga district health officer Dr. David Muwanguzi.

He said that previously, some parents would attribute malnutrition to witchcraft.