CSOs demand for institution of Nutrition Department in MOH to effectively deal with related interventions

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By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/ KMA Updates.

Kampala, Uganda: Civil Society organization believe, absence of such a department has deterred nutrition related intervention hence many cases of malnutrition in the country.

(L-R), Dr. Daisy Owomugasho is the Regional Director for East Africa & Country Director for The Hunger Project (THP)-Uganda, Hon. Flavia Kabahenda, the Publicity Secretary of Uganda Parliamentary Alliance on Food and Nutrition Security, (UPA-FNS), Dr. Samalie Namukose, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Nutrition in the Ministry of Health and James Kaweesi, Assistant Commissioner of Water and Environment in the Ministry of water and Environment, (MoWE) are seen at the event today. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.

During the High Level Meeting on Financing for Food Security, Nutrition and WASH between Civil Society Organizations and some government officials organized by Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, (CSBAG), absence of autonomy for nutrition bit of health was center of discussion.

These believed that the latter has slowed all interventions around improving nutritious feeding behaviors interventions like mass awareness, focal persons facilitation at local government level, tracking progress of nutrition programs and others.

Patrick Rubangakene, the Budget Specialist at Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, (CSBAG) gives CSOs position during High Level Meeting on Financing for Food Security, Nutrition and WASH. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.

Patrick Rubangakene, the Budget Specialist at Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, (CSBAG) mentioned that as CSOs, would like,

To see more investment/financing in nutrition related activities/programs in order to cater for interventions untacked.

To have Food and Nutrition Bill, Consumer protection policy, Food and Drug policy expedited to ensure nutritious food of high quality is consumed.

To see Uganda National Bureau of Standards clearly assess food product quality before they hit market so as it slows toxic food consumption.

To have all agricultural related programs/projects like the Parish Development Model have country nutrition fabric embedded there if the is to stop nutrition cases under 5.

Participants are seen during High Level Meeting on Financing for Food Security, Nutrition and WASH. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.

The WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) program should be prioritized and invested in because of it being key to good health.

To have multi-sectoral engagement on nutrition related issues deliberating on possible approaches of achieving the goal.

To have all food related bills/proposals/strategies entail nutrition aspect as it is the only way they can achieve this.

Hon. Flavia Kabahenda, the Publicity Secretary of Uganda Parliamentary Alliance on Food and Nutrition Security, (UPA-FNS) delivers her remarks during High Level Meeting on Financing for Food Security, Nutrition and WASH. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.

Hon. Flavia Kabahenda, the Publicity Secretary of Uganda Parliamentary Alliance on Food and Nutrition Security, (UPA-FNS) the issue of promoting nutrition should not be limited to just a few people like policy implementers but rather be politicized such that its sound can be heart.

She talked of the many Bills expedited like the Food and Nutrition Bill and others that are stall qualifying for review to meet the requirements at hand.

She also decried of the Parish Development Model program by the government that lacks the fabric of nutrition in it yet it’s going to the grass root.

She said as legislators, are ready to rally one another till nutrition related interventions are given priority in the entire budgeting process all Financial Years.

Dr. Samalie Namukose, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Nutrition in the Ministry of Health gives her remarks during High Level Meeting on Financing for Food Security, Nutrition and WASH. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.

Dr. Samalie Namukose, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Nutrition in the Ministry of Health realized that there is a gap that can only be bridged by strengthening laws and policies related to food and nutrition to prevent the risk of Non-Communicable Diseases especially in children under 5.

Responding to former speakers, Dr. Namukose accepted that Food and Drug Act should be amended as it has remained the same since1959 and that strong legislations and policies related to food and nutrition.

She decried consumption of unhealthy food arising from inadequate and concealed information on nutrition labeling for food/nutrient specifications as most of it is not clear on food packs.

James Kaweesi, Assistant Commissioner of Water and Environment in the Ministry of water and Environment, (MoWE) speaks during High Level Meeting on Financing for Food Security, Nutrition and WASH. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.

While deliberating at the high level meeting on Financing for Food Security, Nutrition and WASH, James Kaweesi Assistant Commissioner of Water and Environment in the Ministry of water and Environment, (MoWE) mentioned that the ministry has aligned the WASH program in line with National Development Plan 111.

He added that WASH program is well captured in the ministry’s strategy and in that says they have constructed many water points countrywide and are looking forward for more.

Also pointed that WASH program was clearly put in their budget framework paper and Ministerial Policy Statement and hoped that if passed during the budget reading, the program will be well expedited.

 

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