Malawi Nutrition Policy renewal now at an advanced stage- Ministry

By Priscilla Phiri

In a significant stride towards bolstering the country’s health, Principal Secretary (PS) responsible for administration in the Ministry of Health, James Manyetera, has announced that the renewal process of the third Nutrition Policy for the country has reached an optimum stage.

Manyetera said this on Tuesday in Lilongwe at the opening ceremony of GIZ’s third annual Global Programme for Food and Nutrition Security, Enhanced Resilience Conference, which gathered over 40 international delegates and partners with the aim of sharing their experiences, achievements and future pathways in food and nutrition security.

James Manyetera

Speaking at the conference, Manyetera said the government of Malawi recognises the importance of nutrition as an enabler for human growth and development as per Malawi’s Vision 2063.

“A country with poor nutrition aspects can never develop, and Malawi intends to move out of the aspect of malnutrition to an aspect where it is a nutritious rich nation through food diversification, hence this programme implemented by GIZ compliments government’s efforts in eradicating malnutrition,” Manyetera said.

He said government has taken strategic steps in ensuring that policy frameworks and government structures which create an enabling environment for nutrition are well versed, citing the national multisectoral nutrition policy which is at an advanced stage.

“The policy is at an advanced stage such that it is awaiting cabinet’s approval and after this phase we will have a team that will disseminate all aspects of the policy for Malawians to be aware,” he said.

The PS then commended the German government for its steadfast diplomatic relationship with Malawi for the past 60 years which has seen the development of many sectors in Malawi through its programmes implemented by GIZ.

On their part, Head of Global Programme Food and Nutrition Security, Enhance Resilience, Julia Kirya, said nutrition is a complex subject which requires partnerships to be addressed, hence, the conference plays a vital role in sharing information and experiences from the countries.

“What we have achieved in 10 years of this programme is exceedingly great as we have seen improvement in the nutrition of women and children in districts we have been working with in Malawi, including men’s involvement in food and nutrition which wasn’t the case in the early years,” she said.

Also present at the conference, which is expected to end on May 18 2024, was the country representative for GIZ Alan Walsch, delegates from seven countries.

The Malawi Nutrition Policy was launched in 2007 with the aim to facilitate improvement of the nutritional status of all Malawians with special emphasis on vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, lactating mothers and children below the age of 15 years.