Pilot nutrition project

Zimbabwe is one of a handful of countries selected for a UK pilot project to reduce malnutrition globally.

Through the Department for International Development, the British government is scaling up its nutrition programmes to benefit 20 million children under five years of age during the period 2011–2015.

“We already have major trials underway in Nepal, Zimbabwe and India, looking at a range of interventions in the field of nutrition,” DFID said in a report titled “Scaling up Nutrition: The UK’s Position Paper on Undernutrition” published last week.

The Zimbabwe project is assessing the co-relation between sanitation and nutrition among children.

“In Zimbabwe we are supporting a large trial to test the impact of improved sanitation on nutritional status,” said DFID.

It is estimated that at least one in every three Zimbabwean children under the age of five suffers from chronic malnutrition. More than 12 000 children die annually from undernutrition, according to a recent joint Zimbabwe government-United Nations report.

The Zimbabwe National Nutrition Survey published in April revealed a worsening problem of chronic malnutrition, posing long-term survival and development challenges for the southern African country that is battling to shake off the effects of a decade-long recession and political strife.

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