By Mengistaeb Teshome
The Federal Ministry of Health and partners working on nutrition Tuesday highlighted opportunities and challenges in improving nutrition status in Ethiopia while deliberating on the 2014 Global Nutrition Report yesterday.
On the occasion Ministry Office Head Dr. Tolera Taye said: “The nation has made great strides in reducing malnutrition across the country. We just reduced by 23 per cent in the case of stunting and by 32 per cent with regard to underweight cases. Yet we need to intensify effort to avoid child exposure to malnutrition.”
The government is working to avert the existing figure to higher extent, take due intervention in child medication that could cause also malnutrition. The health extension workers and mobilizing the health sector development army all over the nation in awareness creation to alleviate the prevalence of malnutrition, related attitude that could arise from harmful practice and the likes.
The great point of this program the Ministry is effecting it at lower society level where the prevalence is thought be high. With significant improvement in nutrition , infant mortality declined from90 to 47 per 1000 LB as well as under -five mortality declined from 146 to 68 per 1000 LB between 2000and 2013.
According to Dr. Tolera, Ethiopia has accomplished the goal of reducing child mortality and communicable disease and there is hope that the nation will also achieve the goal of improving maternal health and mortality reduction. “These successes did not come by accident. It was possible due to heightened political commitment, appropriate policy and real community commitment,” he added.
Yet several challenges persist, malnutrition still affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. As the causes are multi-faceted, the interventions should be multifaceted. Sustainable human and economic growth, universal health care and social protections are among the approaches.
Presenting the 2014 Global Nutrition Report, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Senior Researcher Lawrence Hadda noted: “Nutrition matter should be given due attention like other developmental activities. Ethiopia has been doing better compared to other sub-Saharan African countries.”
As stated in the 2014 Global Nutrition Report good nutrition is the bedrock of human well being. Before birth and throughout infancy, good nutrition allows brain functioning to evolve without impairment and immune systems to develop more robustly.
The report offers a number of findings regarding the progress that has been made in improving status, scaling up nutrition action, meeting the commitments made by signatories of the Nutrition for Growth Compact and reducing data gaps. Malnutrition affects nearly every country. There are many gaps on data nutrition outcomes, programmes and resources.
Representatives of the Ministry of Education and Agriculture as well as development partners and donors attended the Global Nutrition Report discussion.
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