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Severe and moderate acute malnutrition for pregnant women can damage children’s growth

ByWebmaster

Feb 19, 2024

BUJUMBURA, February 19th (ABP) – The Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, through the National Integrated Food and Nutrition Program (PRONIANUT), organized on Thursday, February 15, a consultation workshop on the roadmap for appropriation of the program for the management of moderate acute malnutrition in Burundi.

In her speech, Mrs. Gloriose Ndayizeye, who represented the Minister in charge of Public Health, indicated that the program for the management of moderate acute malnutrition is based on supplementation for children aged 6 to 59 months, pregnant women and malnourished breastfeeding mothers with specialized nutritional products in nutritional supplementation services, accompanied by communication for social change and behavior in health facilities.

According to Mrs. Ndayizeye, this program was implemented in provinces and health districts where the prevalence rate of global acute malnutrition among children is 10% higher. She mentioned others, ranging between 5 and 9%, which aggravate the deterioration of the nutritional situation, namely poor access to basic sanitation and hygiene services, overpopulation, food insecurity and increased mortality due to certain diseases such as diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, parsismus and measles.

Regarding the nutritional situation and mortality, she specified, the reduction in the prevalence rate of global acute malnutrition is below the threshold of the acceptable situation, according to the WHO classification. This rate went from 6.1% to 4.8%.

Therefore, the Ministry in charge of Public Health has set up a multi-sectoral committee in order to draw up a roadmap for appropriation of the said program and to reflect on alternative measures to specialized nutritional products in Burundi, she announced.

During his presentation, the director of PRONIANUT, Dr. Fidèle Nkezabahizi, said that in order to prevent moderate acute malnutrition in pregnant and lactating women, the diet must be improved for each household and the use of local food at the hill and community level be promoted.

According to Dr. Nkezabahizi, the monitoring and evaluation of the roadmap is important because, once approved, it will represent a national transition plan for management and financing of the program for the management of moderate acute malnutrition by government structures. He also pointed out that with everyone’s contribution, the management of moderate acute malnutrition of children aged 6-59 months and pregnant and breastfeeding women will be prioritized for the health and nutritional well-being of these vulnerable groups in order to strengthen sustainable human capital.

Dr. Nkezabahizi highlighted that it is necessary to screen pregnant and lactating women on quarterly basis for malnutrition.