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Inadequate funding in nutrition increasing malnutrition death rate in Salima

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Salima, May 9: Salima District Council says it has discovered that inadequate funding allocation to the nutrition sector is one of the contributing factors to high malnutrition death rate in the district.

The sentiments were disclosed after presentation of results of the budget analysis to the District Nutrition Coordinating Committee on Friday, championed by Civil Society Organisation Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) and Oxfam.

Reacting to the results, Salima District Hospital Nutritional Officer, MacDonald Mtengula said inadequate funding is affecting various nutrition interventions which result in an increase in malnutrition death rate in the district.

“We have noted that there’s poor management by our untrained staff and if we had enough funding we would be able to train the entire workforce at the District Hospital on how to properly manage children with acute malnutrition.

“We are also unable to supervise nutrition programs due to lack of resources which also is leading to malnutrition deaths,” he said.

Mtengula revealed that currently Salima DHO does not have a Nutrition Rehabilitation Unit (NRU) which is used as a Ward to treat and closely supervise children with acute malnutrition and other complications.

Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Civil Society Organisation Nutrition Alliance (CSONA), Kettie Sambani said the meeting was an eye opener to them as civil society organisations, and has brought into light the extent to which the district’s budget prioritizes nutrition issues.

She said moving forward; CSONA, OXFAM, GIZ and other partners plan to have an interface meeting with Directors of different departments at district council level as well as national level to lobby for financing towards nutrition sector.

George Botha Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at Salima District Council and a member of DNCC concurred with Sambani that there’s a need to lobby for more resources so that issues of malnutrition trickle down to the district.

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