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Migration to SA fuels malnutrition in Mzimba

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A health official in Mzimba District has said cases of malnutrition in the district are being fuelled by men who migrate to South Africa.

Mzimba District Nutrition Officer, Berlings Kondwani Mhango, said children’s failure to access six groups of food has led to increased cases of malnutrition in the district.

“When men go to South Africa, children are left in the care of their mothers and grandparents, who do not provide diversified foods for proper growth of the children,” he said.

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Mhango said the problem has been exacerbated by the tendency of men who migrate to South Africa in search of greener pastures, leaving the responsibility of looking after children in the hands of women.

“Only five percent of children have access to a balanced diet in communities,” Mhango said.

He, however, said a number of interventions, such as introduction of backyard gardens, are being implemented.

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M’mbelwa District Council Senior Nutrition, HIV and Aids Officer, Frank Mfune, said cases of stunting in Mzimba are at 39.7 percent, beating the national prevalence rate at 37 percent.

“We want to promote behaviour change so that communities can embrace all aspects of water sanitation and hygiene, which will reduce the levels of malnutrition in communities,” Mfune said.

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