National Food and Nutrition Commission Executive Director Musonda Mofu says Zambia is headed for disaster if no proper interventions are put in place to ensure good nutrition among citizens.
Mr Mofu stated that over 45 percent of the population in Zambia are malnourished as a result of micro-nutrients deficiency.
He disclosed that 32 percent of women in rural areas are diabetic and hypertensive compared to urban areas which stands at 35 percent, noting that this is associated with poor diet and lack of exercise.
Mr Mofu was speaking in Kaoma District when he addressed health workers at an orientation meeting for the ‘Eat Well health campaign’.
He observed that most people exclude local nutritional food on their diet which are rich in nutrition.
Mr Mofu was hopeful that with the formulation of the ‘Eat Well campaign’, the government will achieve its goal to have a healthy population that will eat well by 2030.
“We have discovered that most of these diseases that are affecting people are as a result of tobacco abuse, alcohol, unhealthy diets and lack of physical exercises. We are optimistic that with the Eat Well campaign things will change for the better,” Mr Mofu said.
He explained that the campaign will be rolled out in four districts of Western Province namely Kaoma, Kalabo, Shangombo and Mongu as a pilot program.
NFNC Senior Nutritionist Belinda Tembo called on Zambians to eat locally produced foods to prevent some diseases.
Ms Tembo noted that most indigenous foods are nutritious, cheap and hoped the Eat Well campaign would be a national program that will change people’s lifestyle.
“Most people have the notion that eating well is expensive but to the contrary, eating well is not expensive if we pick on indigenous foods and in Zambia we have a lot of wild fruits that are very nutritious that we can eat and maintain healthy bodies,” Ms Tembo said.
Kaoma Scaling Up Nutrition-SUN program coordinator Brian Sikute disclosed that Kaoma District is at 34 percent stunting prevalence rate which stands to be the highest in the Province.
Mr Sikute, however, said a lot of interventions have been put in place to correct the situation.
He said among other interventions put in place are the formation of Nutrition Support Groups (NSGs) who are the pillars of the SUN program in all the 18 Wards of the District and that so far, the formation of NSGs is at 40 percent and the response is positive.