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The East African : Sep 22nd 2014
32 The EastAfrican OUTLOOK SEPTEMBER 20-26,2014 D E VE LO PME N T Dar still grapples with malnutrition A ≥epo≥t ≥eveals that almost half of the child≥en su≠e≥ f≥om Unde≥nou≥ishment By ROSEMARY MIRONDO Special Correspondent T anzania scored highly among countries that are committed to reducing malnutrition, however, it is ranked third from bottom with almost half the children are malnourished compared with DR Congo and Ethiopia. According to the Hunger and Nu- trition Commitment Index (Hanci) 2013, Tanzania emerged seventh behind Guatemala, which was ranked first followed by Peru, Malawi, Brazil, Madagascar and Nepal respectively, among 45 developing countries that were ranked. Hanci pegged performance of the 45 developing countries on 22 indicators and political commitment to reducing hunger and undernutrition. Partnership for Nutrition in Tanzania (Panita) programme coordinator Jane Msagati said while Tanzania has shown strong political commitment to the fight against malnutrition, nutrition policies are never implemented. She said the Tanzania Demo- graphic and Health Survey (TDHS) 2010 indicates that 3,663,751 out of 8.7 million children in Tanzania are either malnourished or stunted. “While the country has come up with several strategies and policies to tackle malnutrition, they are not implemented and issues like education, health and infrastructure are given priority,” she said. According to Ms Msagati, last year, the Panita did a survey in five regions to determine the level of malnutrition and the results showed that levels of malnutrition are still high. According to Tracking Progress Nearly half of Tanzanian children are undernourished. Picture: File INTERVENTIONS One of the most significant is the low rate of exclusive breastfeeding from birth to six months of a child’s life. Studies have shown that exclusive breastfeeding is one of the single most effective interventions to combat child mortality. In East and Southern Africa, just over half of infants are being exclusively breastfed during the crucial period. Inadequate complementary feeding for children older than six months, on Child and Maternal Nutrition report by Unicef of 2009, Tanzania falls within the 10 worst affected countries by stunting. Despite having high political com- mitments, Tanzania ranked 10 in most affected countries with stunting as Ethiopia DR Congo, Uganda and Kenya were ranked seven, eight, 14 and 16 respectively. According to the 2010 World Bank low consumption of iodised salt, low vitamin A coverage for children under-five and anaemia during pregnancy also contribute to malnutrition in children REMEDY: To tackle malnutrition, Unicef, together with the European Union launched Africa’s Nutrition Security Partnership to improve nutrition security among women and young children on the continent. and Japanese Trust Fund for Scaling up Nutrition, Tanzania ranked poorly in East African region in stunting rate compared with both Kenya and Uganda. Tanzania ranked 42.5 per cent in stunting compared with Kenya’s 37 per cent, Uganda’s 38 per cent, Burundi’s 55 per cent and Rwanda’s 44 per cent. Institute of Development Stud- ies (IDS) nutrition convenor Kat Pittore, said Tanzania 2025 development strategy does not consider nutrition as a key area of development. She said access to improved sources of clean drinking water is low at 53.3 per cent and sanitation at 11.9 per cent, which are likely to hold back better nutrition outcomes. “The Constitution sets out a right to social security and a right to minimum wage, however, it does not explicitly enshrine a right to food,” she said. According to her, only 16.3 per cent of live births are officially registered in Tanzania, which potentially limits many children’s access to basic services. Globally, it is estimated that 162 million were stunted in 2012. SubSaharan Africa and South Asia have high prevalence at about 38 per cent. UN: One in eve≥y nine people in the wo≥ld lack food By SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT The EastAfrican THE GOOD news is that there are 200 million fewer people suffering from undernourishment today than there were 20 years ago. The bad news is that more than 800 million are still chronically hungry. The latest Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates, which were included in a new report released recently by the United Nations, found significant declines in the number of hungry people around the world. The global rate of undernourishment has fallen from under 19 per cent to 11 per cent since 1992, and from 23.4 to 13.5 per cent in developing countries, over the same period. Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that has historically been plagued by hunger, has made particularly progress in its efforts to eradicate hunger — the number of undernourished people living in the region has fallen nearly by half, from 69 million to 37 million, since 1992. Asia made considerable strides, too as the number of hungry people living in the region has fallen by more than 215 million over the same period. In China alone, the number has fallen by 138 million. In Southeast Asia, for instance, nearly a third of the population suffered from chronic undernourishment between 1990 and 1992, but that share has since fallen to just over 10 per cent. And in Latin America, it has fallen from 14.4 per cent to 5.1 per ent over the same period. “Despite overall “Hunger exists because of conflict and war, which destroy the chance to earn a decent living.” UN report progress in developing countries as a whole, large differences remain across regions,” the report says, pointing to large swaths of Asia and Africa that are still plagued by chronic hunger. In Sub-Saharan Africa more than 200 million are still undernourished, nearly 40 million more than 20 years ago. And Asia, despite its progress, is still home to 526 million people who are chronically hungry — more than two-thirds of the total number globally. The reasons hunger exists are instead more closely tied to infrastructural shortcomings, which have made problems like natural disasters, war, displacement, poverty, and wastage more difficult to overcome. The UN delineates the symptoms of such issues on its website. “Hunger exists because of conflict and war, which destroy the chance to earn a decent living. It exists because poor people don’t have access to land to grow viable crops or keep livestock....,” says the report Washington Post-Bloomberg An innovator displays lamps made from recycled tins. Picture: File Contest to suppo≥t innovation launched Christabel Ligami Special Correspondent A global initiative, Making All Voices Count has launched its second annual Global Innovation Competition (GIC 2015). The Grand Challenge dubbed #GIC2015 is looking for innovative, out-of-the-box ideas and initiatives, to boost citizen engagement and government responsiveness. Making All Voices Count sup- ports innovation and research to deepen existing innovations and harness new technologies to enable citizen to engage with the government. The competition launched on the International Democracy Day on August 15, aims to transform the relationship between citizens and their governments in ways that open up how decisions are made that affect people’s lives. The GIC 2015 challenges inno- vators, entrepreneurs and change makers everywhere to design a solution to stimulate dialogue and improve the relationship between government and citizens in 12 countries globally. The countries are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines, Liberia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mozambique and Nigeria. “We welcome challenging, bold solutions to this competition,” says innovation director Daudi Were. “While democracies share com- mon features, there is no single model and the same is true for innovations designed to engage citizens for better governance.” The GIC is designed to tackle a different governance and accountability problem each year and invites the public to identify and vote on entries. Winners will receive grants to support their projects and expert mentorship. Last year’s winner a Pakistani, and the competition sparked a surge of interest that led to a wide range of submissions.
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