The Ministry of Health report published last week indicate that 33% of children under 5 are malnourished, the finding was raised during The Mother and Child Awareness’ week that aimed at raising the concern of the welfare of the nursing mothers and children.
Dr. Daniel Ngamije, the ministry of health, emphasizes that the rising trend of the malnourished children has a relation with parents that are not applying family planning.
“There are still few numbers of parents that are implementing family planning methods as it is envisioned by the government policies on the welfare of children and mothers.” he said.
Citing the National Institute of Statistics of 2021, the Minister of Health indicated that only 58% of the parents are able to apply family planning methods yet that the percentage should be higher. He also said 64% only use the modern methods of family planning.
Statistics also indicate that there are still malnourished children that are under 5 years of age where they are on the 33%.
“We came to find that 8% have a problem of low weight that do not correspond with their ages and their height,” Minister said.
The Minister of Health points out that a number of parents are not using medical check-up when they are pregnant “because only 44% are the ones that have sought medical check-up for at least four times, a number that is supposed to be above 80% as it is required”
While Nadine Gatsinzi, the Director General of the National Children Development center says that more engagement on the matter will be applied including supplying ‘Ongera Vitamins’ and medical check-up for children who are malnourished especially those that are below two years of age.
According to the Ministry of Health, there has been a roll out on the medical check-up for malnourished children especially those in the lower categories of Ubudehe so as to provide the required support including Vitamins, shisha Kibondo, and porridge.
The government’s commitment to eradicate malnutrition has been gathering momentum in the last two years. It is put on account that the injection of the government to fight against malnutrition rose from Rwf 18 to Rwf 56 bn between 2015-2018 according to the parliamentary review of 2020.
Charity organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations also have put their effort into the matters and Improving Maternal and Pediatric Outcome; the Rwandan Experience, an NGO focusing on the most vulnerable children operating in Southern Province is among of them.
The awareness month on the welfare of the child and mother was introduced to raise gaps in the welfare of the mother and child. It is a week that raises concern on the mothers and child which is done twice in a year so as to help those missed the opportunity.