10 November 2011, Kampala, Uganda. Highlighting the importance of close coordination between government, NGOs and private sector, Minister of State Dr. Prof. Z. Nyira has urged all to work together in order to establish the ultimate goal of creating a ‘Healthy Uganda’. He was inaugurating the day long workshop focused on availability and awareness of nutrient-rich food crops in Uganda. The event brought together key policy makers and representatives from development partners including donors, civil society and academia working on food security, nutrition and bio-fortification.
Stressing the urgency of the matter, the minister said that 38% of Ugandan children are stunted, 16% are underweight and 6% are categorized as wasted. He added that this prevalence means that 2.3 million young children in Uganda today are chronically malnourished.
Executive Director of BRAC Dr. Mahabub Hossain echoed the danger of the situation and said BRAC is committed towards ensuring food and nutrition security. He said that mal-nutrition is a result of lack of nutrients in the food intake of particularly the poor and bio-fortification in crops in an area Government and Private Sector should seriously focus on to change this situation.
Deputy Executive Director of BRAC Dr. Imran Matin stressed the need for stronger cooperation since multi dimensional problem that requires an integrated approach.
The minister praised BRAC’s initiative in Uganda and said its scale showed its efficiency and welcomed the latest advocacy effort on malnutrition.
The day long workshop saw a number of presentations on global initiatives and status of bio-fortification in the world and in Uganda, Uganda nutrition action plan, challenges for future among many. The participants shared knowledge to enhance the extension, awareness and marketability of nutrient-rich food crops among rural farmers.