Tanzania renews commitment over fight against malnutrition

DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities on Friday renewed their commitment to fighting against malnutrition by signing new nutrition compact agreements on the implementation of nutrition activities at regional and local government levels.

The signing of the agreements witnessed by President Samia Suluhu Hassan was done at a nutrition compact evaluation meeting held in Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania.

President Hassan signed three nutrition compact agreements for Dodoma, Rukwa and Mara regions, promising to sign agreements for the remaining 23 mainland Tanzania regions in the future.

Other agreements were signed by regional commissioners and the President's Office responsible for Regional Administration and Local Government.

Speaking at the signing of the agreements meeting, President Hassan pledged to scale up the fight against malnutrition in the country, saying good nutrition is crucial for human development.

"A nation of people with poor nutrition amounts to a nation with poor human development," said President Hassan in her address broadcast live by the state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.

The nutrition compact agreements were launched in 2017 by President Hassan when she was vice-president, demonstrating her readiness and commitment to bringing about people-centered development in Tanzania.

This year's nutrition compact evaluation was themed Good Nutrition is the Foundation for National Development.

Minister for Health Ummy Mwalimu said the number of stunted children aged below five due to poor nutrition has decreased from 34 percent in 2015/2016 to 32 percent in 2018/2019.

Mwalimu said the 3 million children were stunted after they lacked nutritious foods and breastfeeding by their mothers.

Shalini Bahuguna, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative in Tanzania, praised President Hassan for reinforcing her government's commitment to tackling malnutrition. She said Tanzania mainland has done very well in planning and implementing coherent nutrition actions coupled with high levels of political commitment and accountability.

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