Kicukiro district launches a campaign against malnutrition, as 17% of children in this district are suffering from malnutrition.
Monday, Feb 27th, district officials launch the “Shisha Kibondo” campaign in Gahanga sector. Emmanuel Bayingana, deputy mayor in charge of social welfare says Gahanga is chosen as the most problematic with stunting kids. “It’s true that malnutrition prevails here, 17% is too much, and we have to eradicate it. Shisha Kibondo program targets all people in the 1st class (vulnerables), especially kids under 2 years, with pregnant mothers”, says Bayingana.
However, malnutrition does not result from poverty, but mindset, deputy mayor continues. “Many kids with malnutrition are here in Gahanga sector, while it is one of suppliers of food to whole Kigali city. It is rather matter of understanding an education, as people grow chicken, but never give eggs kids. All are sent to market, or cow farmers who sell the whole milk, without providing to children”, says deputy mayor.
Parents don’t agree, and insist on poverty as cause of malnutrition. “We know what is balanced diet and how to make it, we’ve been trained about. But the problem remains on means, we spend two days without 1000 Frws. How can we get balanced diet? We starve here, when I don’t get a job, kids don’t get food”, attests Valentine Musabyimana, one of mother with stunting kid.
During this ceremony, 108 kids are provided with balanced diet, while parents get Shisha Kibondo products, a powder, and rich in proteins.
A couple of weeks ago, similar campaign had started in Nyarugenge district, Kigali city, where 100 kids are under permanent care against malnutrition. Thursday Feb 9th, UAExChange visited 32 children at Biryogo Health Center, Nyamirambo. This Indian company supplied 200Liters of milk to children, in presence of Nyagahinga Jean de Dieu, charged of health, Nyarugenge district. Parents say they’re too busy, and don’t get enough time to take care of kids.
According to the Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (RDHS), in 2014/2015, the prevalence of stunted children is about 38 %, wasting is 2% while 9 % are underweight. In Kigali City, the average of stunting is 23 %, but highest in Nyarugenge 29 %, Gasabo 22 %, and lowest in Kicukiro 17%. The wasting prevalence is almost at 3% in all districts, but underweight is 5%. Nyarugenge is on top with 7%, Gasabo 6% and Kicukiro 2% in underweight children.
Jean Baptiste Karegeya