Oct 18, 2017 Last Updated 3:20 PM, Oct 16, 2017

Story Workshop Set To Combat Stunting In Malawi

A young child being measured for signs of malnutrition A young child being measured for signs of malnutrition Image sourced at mw.one.un.org
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Health authorities in Malawi's central region district of Ntcheu are optimistic that cases of stunting among under aged children will be reduced.

This follows rolling out of community mobilization campaigns to be facilitated by Story Workshop through communication for development.

The awareness campaigns come after the Malawi Government under the Ministry of Health recently introduced a micro nutrient powder known Mix Me.

Known as “Ndisaknizeni” in vernacular a single sachet which contains vitamins, iodine and mixed with locally available food is given to children under the age of two to help prevent stunting and malnutrition.

The idea is to increase the quality, quantity and frequency of food consumption among targeted under aged children in the two districts of Ntcheu and Nkhatabay respectively.

Speaking to Capital FM, a Nutritionist at Ntcheu District Health Office described the campaigns as helpful since they will help in raising awareness to communities concerning the powder.

George Mtengowadula believes at the end of the campaign cases of stunting growth will be reduced in the district.

"Communities lack basic knowledge on how to prepare nutritious food, this is why we are prioritising making them aware to address such problems," explained Mtengowadula.

Project officer for Story Workshop reveals they will rely much on drama groups to get their messages across.

Gladson Makowa stressed that the use of drama in message dissemination will help in behaviour change among people in the society.

"Behavior change among communities remains a key challenge hence awareness messages will help to break that cycle in a bid to reduce stunting," Makowa said.

In recent years, surveys have shown that micronutrient deficiencies are major public health problems in Malawi.

This is according to Malawi Demographic Health Surveys, of 2000, 2004, and 2010 and national micronutrient surveys in 2001 and 2009.

Malawi’s, under-nutrition remains considerably high with almost 37% under-five children stunted.

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