Written by Enock Balakasi
The media has been described as an essential tool that has the potential to highlight issues concerning malnutrition and child health.
Save the Children Senior Manager for Advocacy and Communication, Edith Tsilizani made the remarks on Thursday at Mponela in Dowa during
nutritional advocacy for Afikepo Project aimed at equipping journalists with skills in nutrition reporting.
She urged the media to take keen interest in reporting malnutrition and child health issues considering their implications on the nation’s development.
“Malnutrition issues are yet to find their rightful place and that is why we have engaged the media because they are crucial in policy implementation. We also believe that there is enough space in the media that can help us profile such issues,” said Tsilizani .
“If we engage the media now to be nutritional champions and advocates, we will make a very big difference because they will popularize nutritional issues to the nation,” she observed.
In her remarks Assistant Chief Agricultural Extension and Nutritional Officer, Sylvia Mapanje said said government was on track in tackling issues of under and over nutrition.
She government has lined up a number of key nutritional programs to promote nutrition but have not received the much needed publicity.
“We call upon the media as our partners to help in bridging this gap so that the information reach the public,” she said.
The programs include micro nutrient promotion, bio fortification, dietary diversification programs and Community management of acute malnutrition among others.
In his remarks, one of the facilitators of the training, Lovemore Tsitsi who works for CISANET as Programme Manager urged Journalists to analyze real life situations when writing their stories saying they have the power to inform the masses with factual and important information.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), under nutrition, which is associated with low income and poverty, contributes to one third of child deaths globally.
The 2015/16 Demographic Health Survey (DHS) indicates that 12 percent of children in the country are born with low weight due to nutritional issues which is consequently expensive to manage.
Meanwhile,Afikepo has formed a media task force consisting of journalists from various media houses in the country, which will be involved in every development the project undertakes.