Malawi gets Ireland support to improve nutrition in-take

I picked this up from the Nyasa times and wonder what Dr Gary Heavy might have to say. In Áras kate we are trying to reduce sugar intake in porridge,to help with the teeth issues observed by our dental friends.
Malawians are huge sugar eaters.
Ireland on Friday granted over 1.6 million Euros to Malawi, through the UN International Children’s Educational Fund (UNICEF), to improve nutrition in-take during the year starting from November 2009.

Irish ambassador to Malawi, Mac Ghabham, said investment in nutrition is vital for social and economic development in Malawi.

“Investment in nutrition is vital for social and economic development of the country. This link has been neglected in other countries but it is not the case in Malawi,” he said.

Gabham said the support is directed at three government priority areas of treatment of acute malnutrition, finalising preparations for the implementation of National Vitamin A Fortification Programme and Intensification of Nutrition Education which are under Malawi’s National Nutrition Policy and Strategy Plan.

UNICEF Malawi Representative, Carrie Auer, said the funding will enable government to scale up nutrition programmes to all 28 districts.

“The funding will also spearhead nutrition education campaign aimed at improving infant feeding and child care practices among caregivers,” she added.

However, Principle Secretary for Nutrition in the Office of President and Cabinet, Dr Marry Shawa (pictured) said the assistance will hasten the process of fortifying sugar in the country with vitamin A and gauge consumer acceptability.

Shawa therefore said a study that has been conducted on sugar fortification has been welcomed by many Malawians; hence part of the money that the Irish government has given Malawi will help the rolling out of sugar fortification in the main sugar plants of Dwangwa and Nchalo

She added that the sugar that will be fortificated will be only used in Malawi and not for export.

Vitamin a deficiency is a major challenge in Malawi and about 60 percent of Malawian under five children,70 percent of women and 57 percent of men suffer from acute vitamin a deficiency that result in loss of the countries energies and productive potential.

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