Call by National and Nutrition Council to speed up implementation of
nutrition policy in Uganda
The National Food and Nutrition Council has appealed to President Yoweri
Museveni to intervene and speed up the formulation of the National Food
and Nutrition Policy to save thousands of children from dying of malnutrition.
“The President has not yet been properly sensitised about the
urgency of the policy. The major cause of the delay is deciding where
the secretariat should locate the council,” Abbey Sewali Kalule,
the secretary of the council, said.
Kalule said a rivalry between the ministries of health and agriculture
had delayed the take-off of the policy.
“Since 1989, we have been trying to get this policy to become
law but officials in each ministry argue that they should house the secretariat
causing work on the policy to be abandoned,” he said.
“We are of the opinion that to get things moving, the secretariat
should be housed in the Prime Minister’s office which is a neutral
location,” Kalule added.
Meanwhile, officials from the Plan for the Modernisation of Agriculture
(PMA) are proposing that the secretariat be housed within the PMA secretariat.
Dr. Joyce Kikafunda, a senior lecturer at Makerere University and head
of the Department of Food Science and Technology, said the levels of
malnutrition in most parts of the country were at alarming levels despite
the availability of food.
She told an audience at Hotel Equatoria that almost 500,000 children
would die of malnutrition between 2000-2005.
The economic loss to the country in the same period is estimated at
US$1.65b due to protein energy malnutrition as well as Vitamin A, iodine
and iron and other deficiencies.