Japan and UNICEF support government to address malnutrition
Through a generous contribution from the Government of Japan, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health have been working together to scale up interventions to manage malnutrition in Botswana. Over 46,000 children under the age of five years will benefit from a package of both preventive and lifesaving nutrition interventions.
This week doctors, nurses, health education officers, nutritionists, dieticians and social workers have been convened in Gaborone for capacity building on management of acute malnutrition. The training will be rolled out in other health districts across the country.
“Malnutrition, especially in children, if not managed, is dangerous and life threatening if untreated. Children with severe acute malnutrition are 11 times more likely to die than well-nourished children. Those who survive, face irreversible developmental consequences that will affect their performance in school and their productive life as adults. Thus, the impact of malnutrition is not limited to a children’s health, it threatens their future, at a significant cost to the national economy” Alexandra Illmer, the UNICEF Acting Country Representative pointed out.
The funding will help to strengthen identification of children suffering from malnutrition and ensure that they receive quality treatment and care. The funds will also cover technical assistance for the national roll out and implementation of Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition guidelines and early identification of malnutrition by parents and caregivers in communities. In addition, the Government of Japan, supported procurement of electronic scales and Mid-Upper Arm Circumference Tapes.
“It is important for parents and the community to have the knowledge and necessary information to protect children from illness and keep them healthy through the receipt of proper nutrition. By securing sufficient nutrition for the young generation, we can develop the human capital of tomorrow to improve the health, social, and economic development towards the final years of the SDGs.”, said Ms. MURAI Makiko, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Botswana.
This donation is part of the Grant Aid of approximately US$ 348,138. Since its inception in 1993, for over a quarter of a century, Japan has been supporting the health and medical system in Africa in the mid to long term through TICAD. Japan will continue to work with a view of realizing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) based on the concept of “leaving no one behind.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.