The Department of Nutrition, HIV and Aids (DNHA) has trained members of the Dedza District Nutrition Coordination Committee (DNCC) on the management of nutrition in emergencies to reduce illnesses and deaths caused by malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies during disasters.
Speaking during the closing of the two-day training workshop in Salima, DNHA Nutritionist Pamela Jumbe said when disasters strike, cases of malnutrition and HIV and Aids increase substantially due to low food supply, as many people are often displaced and lose their livelihoods.
“It is critical to protect the nutritional status of the affected population, especially pregnant and lactating women, under-five children, and the elderly during this time. That is why we want to enhance the capacity of front-line workers and district teams to prioritise nutrition in emergencies,” said Jumbe.
Commenting on the matter, Dedza District Council Principle Nutrition, HIV and Aids Officer Lottie Makina said there was a knowledge gap on the part of DNCC members which compromised some functions of the committee like planning, implementing, and monitoring nutrition activities.
“Most of the members are new and have not been fully capacitated which makes it hard for them to integrate well and coordinate nutrition activities. So when there are disasters, it becomes difficult for the DNCC to intervene with appropriate interventions,” said Makina.
He, therefore, hailed DNHA for facilitating the training and GIZ for providing funding, saying this is an opportunity for the committee to be empowered to promote and prioritise nutrition in emergencies.
On her part, Dedza District Council Nutritionist Juliet Jinazali said the district faces many disasters like floods, adding that the training will help the committee to implement the right interventions to reach out to vulnerable groups like children and pregnant women during such emergencies.
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