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Karamoja Nutrition Programme Launched :: Uganda Radionetwork

Karamoja Nutrition Programme Launched

The Karamoja Nutrition Programme is funded by United Kingdom Aid and implemented by the UN Agency for Children, UNICEF and the UN World Food Program, WFP.
RDC Kotido, Peter Logilo signing the Karamoja Nutrition Program commitment at Lomukura Primary School on Monday.

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A new programme to improve nutrition services in Karamoja has been launched. 

The Karamoja Nutrition Programme funded by United Kingdom Aid and implemented by the UN Agency for Children, UNICEF and the UN World Food Program, WFP was launched in Kotido on Monday.

The new program is expected to support over 100,000 malnourished children under the age of 5 years with a community based supplementary feeding program, manage nearly 15,000 severely malnourished children with specialized treatment in hospitals and health centres and give Vitamin ‘A' Supplement and de-worming medication twice a year to 140,000 children.

The program is also expected to treat around 70,000 pregnant or breastfeeding women with iron-folic acid supplements to treat anemia.

The three-year project worth 28 million pounds is expected support the region to develop skills of nutritionists and health workers, improve the treatment of acute malnutrition in health centres and communities and to procure and manage quality nutrition supplies.

Francesca Stidston, the Acting Head of Office for Department of for International Development Fund-DFID in Uganda says working to strengthen the government health system, with strong district leadership presents an opportunity for Karamoja to address its malnutrition challenge. 

Karamoja has the highest levels of malnutrition with 35.2 percent of children below five years stunted against 28.9 percent national average. With undernutrition accounting for 40 percent deaths among children under five years in Uganda, the high malnutrition rates in Karamoja risks lives of many children. 

The WFP Country Director El-Khidir Daloum says the programme is a continuation of the Government of Uganda and development partners' march to end stunted growth among children in Uganda.

Daloum said they are outraged by the level of stunting in Karamoja, which remains unacceptably high.

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John Byabagambi, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs says the program will add value to the region especially as the project aims at strengthening the capacity of health workers to manage malnutrition. He urged the local leaders help sensitize the community on nutrition.

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Over 84 per cent of people in Karamoja are unable to afford a nutritious daily diet, 45 per cent of households have limited access to food and over half of all households don't have much diversity in their diet. 

Dr Doreen Mulenga, UNICEF's Representative in Uganda says malnutrition is a major impediment to Karamoja's development, undermining the health and economic prospects of the population.