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Malawi Nutrition Policy renewal now at an advanced stage- Ministry

By Priscilla Phiri

In a significant stride towards bolstering the country’s health, Principal Secretary (PS) responsible for administration in the Ministry of Health, James Manyetera, has announced that the renewal process of the third Nutrition Policy for the country has reached an optimum stage.

Manyetera said this at the opening ceremony of GIZ’s third annual Global Programme for Food and Nutrition Security, Enhanced Resilience conference, which gathered over 40 international delegates and partners to share their experiences, achievements and future pathways in food and nutrition security, on May 14, in Lilongwe.

Speaking at the conference, Manyetera said the government of Malawi recognises the importance of nutrition as an enabler for human growth and development of the country.

He said: “We have a development tool called Malawi Vision 2063 whose agenda indicates that optimum nutrition has an implication on human income development and health wellbeing with wider implications on a social economic growth of the nation.

“A country with poor nutrition aspects can never develop, and Malawi intends to move out of the aspect of malnutrition to an aspect where it is a nutritious rich nation through food diversification, hence this programme implemented by GIZ compliments government’s efforts in eradicating malnutrition.” He said.

Manyetera said government has taken strategic steps in ensuring that policy frameworks and government structures which create an enabling environment for nutrition are well versed.

He further observed that Malawi is at an advanced stage in reviewing the national multisectoral nutrition policy which will not only focus on multisectoral approach but a systematic approach, acknowledging the need to ensure health diet and nutrition.

“The policy is at an advanced stage such that it is awaiting cabinet’s approval and after this phase we will have a team that will disseminate all aspects of the policy for Malawians to be aware,” he said.

Manyetera- We want a malnutrition free country

The PS commended the German government for its steadfast diplomatic relationship with Malawi for 60 years which has seen the development of many sectors in Malawi through its programmes implemented by GIZ.

On their part, Head of Global Programme Food and Nutrition Security, Enhance Resilience, Julia Kirya, said nutrition is a complex subject which requires partnerships to be addressed, hence, the conference plays a vital role in sharing information and experiences from the countries.

“What we have achieved in 10 years of this programme is exceedingly great as we have seen improvement in the nutrition of women and children in the districts which we have been working with in Malawi, but also men’s involvement in food and nutrition which was not the case in the early years,” she said.

Also present at the event was the country representative for GIZ Alan Walsch, delegates from seven countries. Meanwhile the conference is in progress and it is set to close on May 18, 2024.

The Malawi Nutrition Policy was launched in 2007 with the aim to facilitate improvement of the nutritional status of all Malawians with special emphasis on vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, lactating mothers and children below the age of 15 years.

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