BUJUMBURA October 14th (ABP) – On the occasion of the high level forum of women leaders organized by the Office of the First Lady of Burundi Angeline Ndayishimiye, the resident coordinator of the United Nations systems in Burundi Mr. Damien Mama clarified that Burundi has made progress in health and nutrition.
The resident coordinator of the United Nations systems in Burundi first congratulated the First Lady of Burundi for having understood the importance of human capital which is the main engine of development of a country. He also added that investing in health and nutrition is therefore one of the most cost-effective choices one can make for the benefit of future generations. He called on all stakeholders to redouble their efforts to build on the progress she has made.
According to Mr. Mama, between 2010 and 2017, Burundi reduced maternal mortality from 500 to 334 per 100,000 live births and infant mortality from 59 to 47 per 1,000 live births.
Furthermore, Burundi has seen a reduction of 1.3% in the proportion of children aged 6 to 59 months with low weight compared to the situation in 2020. He also asked everyone to tackle the challenges the most urgent, including the problem of stunting, maternal mortality, under-5 mortality and newborn mortality.
Regarding the determinants of malnutrition, he cited inadequate diets, poor food, hygiene and sanitation practices, limited access to quality services and information, food insecurity of individuals and households, as well as inequalities between men and women in the management of resources.
Given these multidimensional factors, there is a need to consider integrated interventions that transform household conditions and capacities. For children, the main windows of opportunity should be seized, i.e. the first 1000 days of life (from pregnancy until a child is two years old) to provide high-impact interventions for good nutrition for both mother and child. He also specified that the period of adolescence, which makes it possible to catch up on the delay experienced during the first window, has special needs linked to age and physiological transformations, in particular on health and nutrition for good growth and adequate development.
Mr. Mama invited all the development partners of Burundi to strengthen their support for the improvement of the health of women, newborns, young children and adolescents in Burundi. He reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations system to continue working with women leaders who play a major role in sensitizing communities on reproductive health, nutrition and the importance of attending health services.