Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

‘A Life Free of Hunger’

Every hour 300 children die of malnutrition. It is an underlining cause of more than a third of children’s fatalities – 2.6 million every year. according to stats from“A life free from hunger,” report released by Save the Children on Friday March 16, 2012 at the Hilton Hotel.
Global stunting is trending down according to the proportion of children who are stunted fell from 40 percent in 1990 to 27 percent in 2012, an average of just 0.6 percentage points every year. Stunting or low height for a person’s age is caused by long term insufficient nutrient intake and frequent infection.
Dr. Keseteberhan Admassu, Health Policy Development Programme Director at the Ministry of Health (MOH), said that in recognizing the effects of malnutrition, the government of Ethiopia has been and still is committed to addressing under nutrition and food security. As such the government has introduced policies including The Growth and Transformation Plan, Health Sector Development plan, and National Nutrition Strategy.
“In terms of implementation, 11 million children under five years old received vitamin A supplementation and de-worming, community based nutrition (CBN) scaled up over 300 Woredas, Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) has been decentralized to more than 10,000 cities and salt iodization has been legalized and scaled up,” said Keseteberhan.
Social protection and welfare policies are also vital “Families in developing nations spend 80 percent of their income on food. Hence social protection and welfare policies are very important and the Ethiopian government is reviewing its policies to make necessary amendments,” said Dr. Ferew Lemma, Senior Nutrition and Public Health Advisor at (MOH).
Instead of focusing on emergency responses the report looks into prevention mechanisms. It is hoped that “A life free from hunger” report will help make malnutrition a concern to all those who work in education and agriculture and donors will provide support to governments in their fight against child and maternal under-nutrition.